It’s been an interesting first month in the role of President. I’ve spent it meeting with members to try and understand what they need from the Chambers. It’s been interesting to hear all the different ways that our members get value from their membership – and it’s not all about ‘meeting new customers’.
What’s been so good about it, from a personal point of view, is that it’s given me the opportunity to catch up with people who I first met 10 or 15 years ago.
Meeting with people who, in 2007, were employing two or three people and today are employing 50 people is a huge testament to their passion and professionalism. There’s a fair few stories to share, as those businesses have navigated the economic climate and proven that, no matter what’s going on elsewhere, if you put people first and stick to what you believe in, then you will grow your business.
I’ve also met with some charitable organisations and a couple of well-known ‘visitor attractions’. Seeing how they get value from their Chambers’ Membership has given me a different insight into how we can support all of our members better.
And, I’ve been invited to a few different launch events. I enjoyed working with Eagle Radio on the launch of their BIZ Club, and it’s been exciting to be involved in the early stages of the Surrey Business Awards.
I’ll be attending my first event with the Surrey Chambers Golf Society this month. I’m not sure my handicap will afford me much time to network with the other members though. Whenever I’ve tried networking at a golfing event before, I never find anyone to talk to. Maybe I should spend less time wandering around the woods looking for my ball, and more time on the fairways and greens like everyone else!
We exhibited at the Surrey Business Expo this year. This is an event that we’ve supported for many years, both as the Surrey Chambers and in my own business, projectfive. It’s a very productive day and a really useful opportunity to catch up with lots of fellow businesses.
Surrey really is lucky to have such a vibrant business community.
Finally, don’t forget that the FIFA World Cup kicks off on the June 14th. I’ve made a point of putting all the matches in my diary already – and it’s already proven useful a couple of times. When you’re sat in a meeting, talking about organising a networking event, and someone says “What about Thursday June 28th?”, then it’s useful to know that England are playing Belgium that evening.
But, back to my day job. I’ve got a full inbox to deal with. A leadership session with my senior team. Oh, and I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that my ‘little girl’ has just left school. GCSE exams in full flow from next week.
Good luck to all the sons and daughters who have a month of exams ahead of them!