October / November 2019 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.
This issue includes the event guide for the BBxpo business exhibition and networking event in Bideford on Thursday 24 October 2019.
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<strong>Business</strong> Networking in Barnstaple <strong>Business</strong> Networking in Barnstaple includes three members who started with the group in its original form more than 17 years ago. The group relaunched in its present format three years ago and is now approaching its limit of 25 members. BNIB meets weekly on a Tuesday morning at Portmore Golf Park, near Barnstaple, and mixes friendly, structured networking with an online referral system that measured £650,000 of actual business referrals last year, with more than £350,000 referred since January <strong>2019</strong>. One member can be admitted per business sector and the group is easy to join, with no pressure. Chairman John McLaughlin- Mills says this enables members to measure and see actual business generated by the group. Members are encouraged to generate referrals voluntarily, but these are not the sole measure of a member’s value. “The group values services people give,” says John, who is a founder member. “We value the human side and the efforts people make to support each other. People in the group get on very well.” As a self-managed group, BNIB works to keep fees low and organises social gatherings to help people get to know each other. It also supports members by helping to promote them, including attending events such as BBxpo exhibition. It also encourages members to conduct one-to-one meetings to get to know each other and their businesses well, which strengthens the group. ■■Details 0843 289 1339 or bnibarnstaple.co.uk VISIT STAND AT BBXPO NETWORKING North Devon’s remoteness can be a barrier to connecting with businesses across the county or beyond. Building these connections has become easier with the launch of Devon Partnerships, which hosts networking events across the county and held its first North Devon lunch in September. Lee Randall-Pybus launched Devon Partnerships in May, inspired by the success of Cornish Partnerships run by David Brock. Since then, Lee has run 120 networking events and says that there is always a new face at every event. “I had only ever been to one networking event before,” says Lee. “I met David at one of his events and there was such a buzz. Now I do it full-time, helping people where I can. It’s North Devon networking groups North Devon Networking Group Meets at the Barnstaple Hotel, Barnstaple on alternate Fridays from 7.15am to 8.45am. Networking with a difference – a friendly and informal group of business people with no charge for membership and no targets to bring in leads. There is ample opportunity to network, present your business and gain contacts. ■■northdevonnetworking.co.uk Rise Meets at Block, Butcher’s Row, Barnstaple on alternate Wednesdays from 7.00am to 8.30am. Co-founded by Martin Critchard and James Devon Partnerships across the county Dapling, Rise offers informal networking interspersed with alternate member presentations and educational sessions. Choose your breakfast from a wide menu with great coffee. Come along, make friends and do business. ■■firstname.lastname@example.org all about creating relationships – we’re like a big family. Events are very relaxed and informal, and everyone is welcome.” Lee likes to meet each business owner for a one-toone meeting to explore how becoming a member can help their business. Devon Partnerships now has more than 200 members across the county and Lee and David are franchising Your Partnerships throughout the UK. Anyone joining in Devon will be able to attend events anywhere else in the country. “The greatest thing for a business is to build relationships face-to-face.” ■■Details 07393 149855 or devonpartnerships.co.uk VISIT STAND AT BBXPO Torridge <strong>Business</strong> Network Meets at the Royal North Devon Golf Club, Westward Ho! on alternate Fridays from 7.00am. Plenty of free parking. A friendly and informal networking group with no joining fees – just the cost of breakfast. Come along and meet like-minded businesses. ■■torridgebusinessnetwork.co.uk WE OFFER ASSISTANCE WITH: Valuations Cost Management Bills of Quantities Tendering Procurement Invoice Reconciliation CALL TODAY for an informal chat: 01271 603053 futuredimensions.uk email@example.com 01271 267420 | firstname.lastname@example.org 16 business action | <strong>October</strong> / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2019</strong> | business-action.co.uk
FINANCE your link to success covering Temporary, Permanent and Contract in Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing and <strong>Business</strong> Support offices in Barnstaple and Somerset 01271 349 745 www.coopergolding.co.uk A finance provider with a difference At a recent meeting with a team of business bank managers, I was asked to explain how SWIG Finance differs from other alternative finance providers operating in the South West. I answered that we are interested in engaging with the customers that you like, but your underwriters don’t. Because we have our own capital as well as access to other sources of finance, we have our own lending discretions. This means we can look at the whole picture, and not make a decision based on last year’s accounts or background collateral. Indeed, by using the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme, we commonly lend where there is no security available. You won’t find SWIG Finance on any of the national bank referral portals. In our view, signposting to a list of John Peters, managing director of SWIG Finance, takes a look at what makes a different alternative finance provider other potential funders isn’t a solution for many small business owners, who want someone to talk to about their business and its needs. The referral scheme – which requires banks to refer any business declined for funding to one of four online funding platforms Meet the SWIG Finance team at BBxpo – has only had very limited success; according to figures published by the Treasury, between 2016 and 2018, 19,000 businesses have been referred via the scheme but only 900 have been granted funding. This is where SWIG Finance is really different; whilst we are harnessing ‘fintech’ to support our lending operations, our business managers personally engage with all applicants, and meet with everyone we take to credit. We do this so that we know our customers and have confidence that the loan request being made is right for them as well as us. SWIG Finance is part of a national network of CDFIS (Community Development Finance Institutions) and is the only one lending to businesses in the South West. This means it is our mission to provide finance where it is most needed to support local businesses that have the potential to create and secure jobs for the benefit of the communities in which they are based. ■■Details 01872 223883 or swigfinance.co.uk VISIT STAND AT BBXPO The story of <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Action</strong> began with Need it Find it, a sales leaflet developed for distribution around Bideford. Soon it became clear that there was a need for dedicated business news coverage of North Devon businesses and <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Action</strong> was born. Need it Find it publishes <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Action</strong> and organises BBxpo. It is now developing an online directory to complement advertisements and listings in <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Action</strong> magazine. Any advertiser purchasing a <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Action</strong> Plan will receive a listing on the directory. ■■Visit at needitfindit.uk @businessactionm | August / September <strong>2019</strong> | business action 17