David Wilson from NE Money talks networking with Vicki Stone Marketing

 

 

 

David Wilson NE Money and the Curry Club

 

Networking?  Love it or hate it, it’s something that’s here to stay and whether you network online or face to face you should know what works for your business.  Many local businesses have been established on the principal that good quality networking and interaction builds a strong business.  This is certainly something that I’ve found over the last twelve years.

Networking is feared by some people with them worrying about making the first introductions, talking in front of a room of people or simply trying to decide which network is right for them.  In my opinion all the networking options available in the North east are excellent, it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you and your business!

In 2007 I left the ‘safe’ environment of employment with a high street bank to start my company, NE Money.  On day one I had a couple of clients and I knew where I was going to find some new ones; from networking.  So I joined and went to everything. I spent months doing every event I could find just so I could work out what was good for me and my business.  Then in 2009, and inspired by a network I used to be involved in whilst in business banking, I decided to start the Curry Club in Newcastle.  The simple principles behind it were;

  • No membership fees – just pay on the day to the venue – ensuring we didn’t have any admin to deal with.
  • Same time, same place, same format – so people knew when, where and what they were going to every month and again we didn’t need to spend time finding new venues.
  • Open to everyone – no business too big or small, nobody not able to attend.
  • We wouldn’t use the Curry Club as a way to generate direct business or hard sell ‘guests’ – if people want to know what we do they would ask!

The Curry Club provided me with a platform to engage with local businesses on a regular basis, raise the profile of NE Money (so much so that I think I’m better known for the Curry Club than financial services) and provide businesses with something which is a simple, straight forward and a cost effective way to form new business relationships.  The Curry Club was always about business relationships and not hard sales; we wanted people to form profitable relationships not make a quick quid from a lunch out! 

Fast forward to 2012 and we now host two Curry Clubs (Newcastle and Teesside), welcome on average 60 people every month and have a great reputation for an informal and friendly way to do business.  Every month I get asked ‘What do you get out the Curry Club’?  I get to learn about other people’s business and what makes them tick (great free information as a business adviser) , talk about what I do and how we support businesses (for the price of a lunch) and also just relax for a couple of hours with good food and company!

My advice when asked where should people network? People should network where they feel comfortable and with a group or organisation that fits them and their business.  Don’t just go somewhere because someone else gets lots from it; go because you believe you will get lots from it!  You have to ensure that the time and money you spend gets the return you require; do you know what you want from networking?

To join the mailing list for the Curry Club simply register at www.curryclub.info The dates for your diary are Newcastle Curry Club – first Thursday of every month at the Spice Grill Kitchen, The Gate and Teesside Curry Club – third Thursday of every month at Café Indigo, Riverside, Stockton.