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    "We went to our first meeting expecting a networking group of sorts, but were pleasantly surprised to find that instead, ConnectingDoorz is a means for new business owners to voice their concerns to people in similar situations and gain feedback and support."

    Dan & Rodeo – Rodeax

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    "Cathy has put me in touch with potential clients and introduced me to her substantial network of contacts. Friendly and approachable but outstandingly professional with it, she has been a valuable person to know."

    Sam Barnes – Sales Director at Radius

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    "Cathy’s experience in networking and openness to share her contacts and expertise is invaluable and should not be missed by anyone looking to grow their business."

    Alex Minchin – Zest Digital

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    "At ConnectingDoorz there is no judgement, no pressure and everyone in the group is incredibly helpful and welcoming."

    Dan & Rodeo – Rodeax

A refreshing twist on Business Networking in Oxfordshire

 

We know that in the early stages of running your own business or when you work alone it can be lonely, confusing and tough at times! How do we know that – because we’ve been there!

Equally in the good times it’s motivating and empowering to share your successes with others who are rooting for you.

One of the biggest challenges for any new business is where to go for support, advice, inspiration and a regular business boost. ConnectingDoorz offers all of this plus many other business networking opportunities by opening up our little black book to you. It’s full of successful entrepreneurs, savvy business owners, development specialists and many others who have an altruistic approach to helping small businesses achieve more.

ConnectingDoorz is not a traditional business networking group. We take it as a given that when like-minded business professionals meet in the right environment networking will happen naturally. Our focus is on helping you build a trusted network of experts, mentors, business coaches, peers and friends offering knowledge, development, experiences, encouragement, support and not forgetting some fun along the way.

If the mere mention of the words business networking fill you with fear or you've tried it unsuccessfully in the past then our Naked Networking workshops will help. Run by experience networker Cathy Dunbabin they draw on 20 years of successful business networking and training and include everything you need to become more confident, effective and success in your networking.

 

Hot off the press

Do you suffer from premature expectation?

So you’ve decided upon the networking group you want to join and paid your money. Now all you need to do is turn up and the business will roll in… right?

Wrong! One of the main reasons members leave networking groups is because they got little, if any, business. This is the symptom, what I would like to talk about is the cause. There is a common networking problem that affects women as well as men and it is called premature expectation.

 

The following may help you understand the problem a little better.

Networking is about relationships

Like all relationships these take time to develop. The more time you invest in developing them the quicker they will deliver results.

I love you!

Well maybe you don’t have to be loved but you do need to be well liked. The more you put yourself out, are generous with your time, support and information the sooner others will want to help you in return.

Trust me I’m a ….

It is not likely that anyone will put their reputation on the line and recommend you to a valued contact until they know they can trust you. Trust is built by spending time getting to know each other on a one to one basis.  This will be time outside of the networking meeting to talk about what you do for clients, sharing testimonials, highlighting expertise and qualification in your field. It's a great opportunity for exploratory questions and really delving into what it is you do for your clients. Offering free tasters of what you do and giving free advice can also heighten levels of trust.

Confident Aura

Confidence should be like an aura around you. The way you look, behave, engage and conduct business all instill a level of confidence. The higher the level of confidence in you the higher the level of business you will receive

If you are going to join a networking group, you need to be prepared to commit fully and not expect a quick return. Membership of most networking groups is for a year, which for many businesses, is the same as the length of time it takes to develop the relationships, trust and confidence required to gain quality opportunities. Once these start to flow they will continue unless, of course, you jeopardize that trust, confidence and credibility by behaving unprofessionally.

Unfortunately, the end of year one is the most likely time for members to throw the towel in…. usually just as they were about to enjoy the fruits of the past year’s relationship development. Treat networking as a long-term investment and you will enjoy real business transforming results.