Networking locally – probably better than you think!

Cross Reference is a group meeting in Gerrards Cross but currently online with Zoom.

We have a laugh, chew the fat and discuss issues as well as pass business and experiences around the group.

Today we had a short talks from Emma and Matt.

Matt is into writing…. copyrighting amongst his many talents – “less is more” should be his tagline.

He gave us an insight into Creative Writing today:-

  1. Start somewhere – don’t over think it
  2. You never have to start from scratch – use a “swipe file” and store away bits you find to use later
  3. Keep to the “why” and not the “what” in your writing
  4. Think laterally – think around the problems/topics rather than through them
  5. solve it when you walk, easier than watching a blank screen.

Emma is an award winning local photographer who has International clients as well as local ones.

She gave us yet another inspirational chat on what she has been up to in these difficult days… Does she ever sit still!

One thing she has done is diversify her business and take it online with these strategies:-

  1. Pre book online
  2. Sell vouchers
  3. Webinars
  4. Online courses

Through her online marketing of her Personal Brand and her Business Brand she takes these messages out there.

Her final thought was “Start NOW – feel the fear but move beyond it”

Excellent meeting and I personally learnt something, passed on a lead to another member and had a laugh!

Do you want to come along to find out how we can help you and your business? Drop me a message or email

July 17th Zoom meeting

As ever was great to see the members even if it was in the virtual world.

We had a talk from Karen of Take One Media showing us some of the recent work they have done with some great examples of videos that show off businesses in different inventive ways, from an accountancy company that wants to show more about “who” they are as opposed to “what” they do.

We also had a great story from Charles of Longmore Solicitors showing an amusing legal story that highlighted what can happen from the most innocent of beginnings! His in depth grilling from the group on wills was also enlightening and we found out that a will should be reviewed every 5 years or when situations change – he also does this for FREE!

Ash Taylor and stepping up your game

Ash Taylor gave us a great example of how important it is to be around people who are often better than you are, simply because it pushes you to be better. Sometimes top managers surround themselves with “yes” people who will never push them, this means actions will not get questioned and stunts growth. It’s far better to encourage an environment where people feel able to raise questions; as a result everyone tends to work better and more efficiently.

Being positive and not overthinking things is something to be aware of because the important thing is to prevent progress paralysis: action is what takes you forward.

‘Just do it….what’s the worse that can happen!’

Obviously, these suggestions do not hold true for some jobs; for instance, I don’t think anyone would feel comfortable if pilots or dentists took the ‘Just do it…’ attitude when flying a plane or working on our teeth! However, there are many occasions where relaxing rigid control can enhance your business.

‘Letting people have responsibility helps them to learn and grow….’

Cross Reference is a local, long-established business networking group that meets on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month for breakfast, business and development. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch via the website.

Roger Rawlinson and the need for safeguarding

Roger gave us a talk at the meeting today on the need to safeguard staff and whistle-blowers within a business. He explained that in his experience, when dealing with staffing issues it is always better to get a difficult discussion kicked off before it turns into an impossible conversation.

‘Encourage people to express their concerns informally before the proverbial molehill becomes a mountain….’

All companies should have some idea of the procedures required to ensure their staff are able to voice concerns; once concerns are voiced then it’s equally important that there is an agreed process for dealing with the issue that respects all parties.

‘Deal with concerns in a way that is respective and not seen as dimissive.’

Roger’s business, Elite Coaching, offers HR Consultancy Services with an emphasis on change and organisational development. Roger is always happy to give advice on Human Resources issues and his experience over many years speaks volumes!

Friday morning networking 20th Sept

What a beautiful morning to be out early. The sun was up, the drive to Gerrards Cross across Slough easy at this time of the morning.

We had two visitors today –

Moira Hamer and Anthony Jones and an interesting talk from Charles Fraser on how to pay for your care in old age. Some good advice and tips on things to watch out for if sorting this out for elderly relatives. 1. paying with your assets, 2. through the local council if you do not have enough in your assets to cover the costs or 3. through the NHS continuing health care.

One point that was stressed was that proper planning can get over some issues that the council will try. They will try their hardest to make sure they have the least amount of financial input into your care situation!

Karen Pawlowska was telling us about a new initiative from Sky TV, where small companies can now – through companies like TakeOne – do complete TV adverts aimed at specific target markets! Pretty amazing and a great opportunity to play against the more usual suspects of the big national companies. The targets can be on post code, number of children and a multitude of other categories…somewhat scary what these companies know about us, and thus what is used to target market us.

Great meeting and we are now in the planning stages of a Visitors day in November –

Next meeting is 4th October

Why a Blog at all?

How to make the most of your website SEO?
It is so important to keep adding content to your site and a Blog does that perfectly. Adding content increases your “usefulness” to your potential audience but also shows Google that you are actively working on your site so it increases in relevance.
A Blog is the first stage in your social media campaign…. by that I mean before you put anything on LinkedIn or Twitter etc it should be based on your Blog which is on your website… so any other social media can direct traffic back into your site where you have a better chance to convert.

Who is talking – Our next presentations

Every meeting we post out to the group who is doing the 5 minute talks.
This gives everyone a chance to see if they have any specific questions on any topics.
The topics covered are not a direct “sales” pitch to the group- because this is not what we are about!
What they should, and actually do cover, is aspects of that persons special area with hints and tips on how to operate or run your own business better.
We believe this is where we can help and add value to other members.

Friday 21st June meeting

As ever a great informative event.

where we had talks from Matt Noble Wright on what to remember when writing content for various mediums – from websites to printed – and how it can be worth getting a copywriter in to write less rather than more because we have such a small amount of time to get a point of view across. We read a website in the F plan – a little difficult to explain without a graphic but suffice to say its a page read top left to right then down and then across a little so the eyes scan in an F pattern.

A classic quote is “write drunk, edit sober”

Then we had Tim Brooker of Beyond Numbers with some great advice on how to analysis your companies trading and how reverse engineering what you need from what you want to earn. Looking down at the number of average deals and average deal value that you then get is a revealing way of thinking as this then eventually leads you to knowing what you need to do to get what you what from your business.

Then we had Karen Pawlowska from Take One TV who was talking us through the importance of  video but also on how best to ensure you get engagement, this can be as simple as getting your work colleagues to like and share the work that has been produced, this might be all you need to kick off a proper distribution of your work.

K J Smith Solicitors

If you are looking for legal advice and assistance, K J Smith Solicitors are specialist family and divorce solicitors who can provide you with support and guidance for issues involving; Divorce and Family Law, Wills, Trusts and Probate, Powers of Attorney and Deputyship Applications.

Although we can’t take away the stress of divorce, family breakdown or bereavement we can help to ease it. Through understanding and prompt action, our family solicitors aim to provide practical solutions to help you resolve any family matters as quickly and as amicably as possible.

Our dedicated and caring team of family law solicitors always aim to deliver an efficient and professional service with continued support and advice throughout. We are recognised by the Legal 500 as a Leading Firm and deal with cases ranging from the simple to the highly complex. Speak to our team today to arrange a free initial consultation and obtain immediate professional advice.

Member: Shefali Maher

Telephone: 01494 629000