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Network connections to help firms succeed
INCREASING sales leads and converting them to cash, and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme were topics discussed at a new networking group.
The Networking Hub hosted by Basepoint Basingstoke, in Daneshill, is open for Basepoint licensees and local business to provide the opportunity to network and generate new business – and it also includes advice from expert speakers.
At the inaugural event, local HSBC business manager Ben Jones, who works closely with 130 Basingstoke businesses, said: “EFG is a government guarantee which secures loans to any viable business with a sound borrowing proposal.”
Key features are that businesses can borrow between £30,000 to £1million, although HSBC’s minimum level is £10,000.
Kathy Gilbert, director at Practical Partners offered some sound advice, such as “Learn to listen,” and don’t put off lead calls.
She said: “If you don’t have the leads, you don’t have the sales, you don’t have the cash, and you don’t have the business.”
Opening The Networking Hub, the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Councillor Martin Biermann, who runs Personalised Print, in Chineham, shared some business advice too.
Cllr Biermann said: “Personalisation, in my experience, is undoubtedly the most important thing – looking at who the client is and what their needs are.”
He also said to be honest and upfront if you make a mistake, which can actually bind a business closer to a customer. “Some of my best clients are the ones I’ve upset the most,” joked Cllr Biermann.
Excited about the launch, Anne Willis, Basepoint Basingstoke’s centre manager, responsible for the 53 self-contained small business units at the Stroudley Road site, said: “It’s a refreshing new event for the local area and will help SMEs build up a support system.”