Interview with Nicky Goringe Larkin, Founder and Director Goringe Accountants on why we stage regular business networking events.
Once a quarter, Reading and London based accountancy practice Goringe Accountants hosts free business networking events. Here Nicky Goringe Larkin explains why, and gives her take on ‘the business of networking’.
We feel very privileged to have such high-quality (and nice!) clients and suppliers, so these events are our way of giving back. It’s a chance for our favourite people to make connections, forge alliances and win business.
Fundamentally it’s about building relationships. We all know that we buy from people we know, like and trust, so our events offer the chance to build these connections. Of course, it’s not just about who’s in the room; it’s also about each individual’s network. We’re effectively selling to everyone they know, too.
I see them as three-fold: referrals, strategic alliances and support. The first one is obvious; we want to win new business, but networking is also a chance to seek out like-minded business people, or partners who serve the same target market. I’ve seen some profitable joint ventures blossom from our events. Finally, running a business can be a very solitary activity, so it’s of huge benefit to know people who are in a similar situation who are available at the end of the phone.
Networking isn’t a ‘quick fix’. Dropping in to one or two events probably isn’t going to instantly win you new clients or transform your business overnight. But it is a powerful tool that—if you invest in over time—has the potential to deliver an outstanding return. I believe networking is the single most cost-effective way for micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses to market themselves. It’s only an investment in time and, for most businesses, winning just one client more than pays for a year’s worth of that investment.
Our events are open to all businesses in the Reading and Paddington areas.
Absolutely! As well as open networking, we always engage an inspiring, entertaining and informative guest speaker. We’ve had all sorts of brilliant talks like risk-management, exit-strategies and social media. Plus, the catering’s always fabulous—one of our clients, Cutting Edge Catering, provides the most delicious canapés. And we have Champagne and mince pies at Christmas.
Usually from 6pm-8.30pm. We like to use different venues: our Reading office in Theale Lakes Business Park, near our London office at the Canal Café, Little Venice, or at various great businesses such as Aston Martin in Pangbourne. We publish the details in plenty of time on our website.
I think it is important for my clients to try networking and see if it can help their businesses to grow. With this in mind we will continue to organise quarterly networking meetings, as a good, friendly, informal introduction to networking, and our next one will be FREE, so no excuse not to come!
Check out our events page for details of when and where the next networking event is being held.