Each week, the groups of Nexus Networking meet on a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, to talk business. One element of the weekly network meetings is our Speaker Series, where a member from each group addresses fellow members in a presentation about their company or trade. This is a fantastic opportunity for members to learn from one another and get tips on the best business approach. It also allows us to learn something we never knew before – as we saw in Kevin Unwin’s Tyre Safety talk.

To kick off the new month, Nexus saw Danny Nevill of Universal Web Design talking to his group about digital marketing and what it entails. He set up the digital marketing agency three years ago, to work with businesses, from start-ups to SMEs, in order to help them generate business enquiries online. Pointing out that, year-on-year, companies expand their marketing budget, he stressed the need to never set a limit on this section of your business.

He also highlighted the benefits of outsourcing digital marketing, especially how cost-effective it can be, given there’s no need for recruitment fees, additional HR paperwork, or additional office space. Whilst as in-house marketing manager might cost your business on average £50,578 per annum, a marketing manager from an agency, with the same skills and knowledge would cost £32,675 per annum on average – saving you £28,505.

Next, we had Richard Cossey from Divine Water, Plumbing, Heating and Electrical Ltd. who sepcialise in boiler installation and gas and electricity safety checks. Established in 2003, the company operates in Tendring and the surrounding areas. Richard explained to the group that the company reaches out to customers with one simple thing driving their success – good customer service.

The company promise is to turn up when they say they will, only undertake necessary work, work within all regulations, clean up each day, and leave nothing unfinished. He also discussed the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and how you can check for wear and leaks, recommending people have safety checks once a year.

Nexus also saw Gerry Gould, the Community Manager for Brainwave who provide therapy based on neuro-plasticity, to children with disabilities and additional needs. The majority of the 600 children the charity caters for have either Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, or Autism. Many can’t walk, see or feed themselves. Gerry gave touching individual accounts of the journeys of some of the centre’s children, describing the fantastic work they do to help both children and parents. She urged members to come and visit the Brainwave Centre: “I can speak a thousand words, but to see what we’re actually doing with the children, says it all.”

At the cost of £3,500 per child, per year, Brainwave has had to find many ways to raise funds including events, donations and third party grants. It’s a difficult task given that they do not recieve any government funding, but Gerry says that their new Guardianship Scheme – which allows individuals or groups to cover the £3,500 needed for the therapy and equipment for a child for one year – has already generated a huge amount of interest.

Chris Black works for the family-run business, Carpets and Flooring Coverings Direct. They are based on the values of honesty, integrity, value for money and exceptional customer service. Having seen how average the industry was, the founders sought to change that by doing things better. By offering free estimates and quotations, a free ‘shop at home’ service, providing honest advice (even if it means sending a customer elsewhere), and by only accepting payment once the whole job is done, the company has forged a good relationship with it’s customers – one which can be applied to all businesses.

This exceptional customer service has gained the business a good reputation and leads to many client referrals. The company works in domestic properties, but also retail and public sector buildings as well. Recently, they have expanded into selling furniture to clients on top of the floor covering service, due to high demand. On top of all this, the company uses only fully-employed fitters and sources all their products locally and from the UK.

Finally, Lee Hughes the Tranformation Coach talked to members about his own personal journey, and how he has helped clients through theirs. At the age of 16 he went on a journey to transform himself by losing weight and getting fitter. At 21 he began work in a local gym, but saw how most users had no clear goal and felt disheartened when they couldn’t see progress. Lee’s 15-week program is structured around the individual client and how they can alter their lifestyle to transform themselves – but never through dieting or excessive exercise.

He asks people to ask themselves, “Why do you want to change?” This is where he emphasises the accountability aspect of his programme – being accountable only to yourself and to your goals. The client alone is solely responsible for their progression, Lee merely facilitates it. This client-centred appraoch to his business has allowed customers to see real progress, brining him in more clients through recommendations and referrals.

If you’d like to hear more from our members, come along to the next Nexus meeting for just £10. Contact Paul Lomas on 07807 494530 or email to book your place.