We had a terrific night at Queen's Club last night. It was a networking evening for local businesses - in all just over 100 local firms were represented doing just about everything imaginable from solicitors firms to commercial window cleaners, swimming pool suppliers to local business banking advisors, sorbet makers, IT specialists and tennis facility owners.
This is the fun bit of my job - meeting and working with all of these different people, getting to know their business and helping them by showcasing their businesses. What strikes me is that the gloom the national media like to spread - the worries about the economy, the cuts and so on don't translate to entrepreneurs in the way the Daily Mail would understand. Naturally business owners are keeping a close eye on things, they watch the economic indicators they think about likely impacts on their business and - based on the evidence of last night - they DO something about it. They network, they plan different approaches, they look after their customers and watch their competitors. The one's there last night were in a great mood, especially after a few welcoming drinks.
The attitude they have is "screw surviving" they want to thrive and grow and know that a recession can be an opportunity, albeit rather heavily disguised.
Nigel Botterill gave the main speech. He's a ball of energy and a very engaging presenter (I said that to a few people before the show and I was pleased to get a few "ahh - now I see what you meant" comments afterwards. Nigel's topic was the "18 secrets of successful businesses" and got a great reaction from the crowd. The fact is that some of the "secrets" are well known. But the fact is that a huge majority of businesses will be thinking about similar things or talking about them and almost nobody will be doing them. We've had a load of really positive commentary back on e-mail and twitter and it's really heartening to see that people have taken exactly what we wanted from the evening. They are trying out some of the ideas and giving it a go.
Here's to them - I've said before that small business is the real heart of the real economy. They are the majority of GDP, they do most of the employing around here and they very often get treated as the name suggests - like they are small. But they're not, together they're huge and the good news is that the ones who are up for it are optimists, they're looking forward and they're determined to thrive.
The final word is for Queen's Club. What a fantastic venue. We'd never used the place before but I can't speak highly enough about it. Great staff, beautiful place, lovely sense of prestige about it and loads of parking. Here's a really strong recommendation - if you're holding events in the area get in touch with the dramatically named Attila Kerekes and I promise you'll have an exceptional time.
Member since: 10th July 2012
I'm the owner of thebestof hammersmith and fulham so I get the chance to write about the borough and all the good things I find as I go around talking to businesses. Join in and tell people about...