Welcome to the First HER Conference

The first HER Business, Body and Life Conference 2018, was hosted at Epic Studios on 8th March, to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Serena Fordham, Founder and CEO of Her Business Brew opened the conference with the following speech.

For those who don’t already know me, I’m Serena Fordham, Founder and CEO of Her Business Brew, and around this time last year our women’s network celebrated it’s second birthday by hosting an intimate Posh Pyjama Party.  It is incredible how a year down the line, we are now celebrating our 3rd birthday with all of you amazing women in this amazing venue!

So much has happened at Her Business Brew in the last year or so –

  • We have grown from one meeting location to four
  • We have published Stories of She (a book about women-related issues)
  • We have hosted our first retreat, which brought together entrepreneurs to learn business related skills, as well as being lots of fun!
  • We have created the Her True Colours Calendar for 2018 (which the first 50 of you through the doors today should have received in your goodie bags)
  • We have launched For HER, which is a women’s online chat show, to connect, support and inspired women everywhere!

Looking forward to the next year –

  • We will be holding our next retreat on 28th to 30th September, which is open to all women, either in business or not, as there will be something for everyone!
  • We will be launching our additional new website for-her.co.uk which will be aimed at all women, and will be the new home of the HER Conference, Retreat, Stories of She Book, Her True Colours Calendar and the For HER chat show. This means that www.herbusinessbrew.co.uk will focus more towards increasing meeting locations and membership, as well as connecting entrepreneurs and creating more business opportunities.
  • We hope to host this HER Conference again next International Women’s Day, and we hope you can join us again!!

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to say a few thank yous before we begin the day, so thank you to:

  • All our event sponsors – Especially our headline sponsors Trusted Law and East of England Coop
  • Our speakers – Davina Tanner OBE, Ursula Tavender and Rachel Welch
  • Our masterclass hosts
  • All our stand holders
  • Linda Thursby and all at Epic Studios for letting us take over this incredible space for the day
  • Our events team for today – especially Natalie Chapman, Lorraine Brooks, Kerry Groves, Natalie Davies, and the Inspired Youth Sparks Team
  • Special thanks to Ros, Rebecca and Kerri (who have worked hard with me behind the scenes to bring all this together!)
  • Thank you again to Linda Thursby who has also donated a voucher for Barn Therapy Centre for our ticket prize draw, which you can join in with on the Her Business Brew stand near the entrance. We will draw this after the event and announce on social media.

Thank you to you all for supporting Her Business Brew, Norfolk’s fun and friendly women’s network.  You can find us online at www.herbusinessbrew.co.uk.

Happy International Women’s Day from myself and the Her Business Brew Team!

You can find out more about the first HER Conference (#HerConfNorfolk) HERE

My Journey into Tropic

I started to use Tropic products two years ago and fell in love with them from the moment I tried the travel set!

I soon got a collection of the skin care and then gradually replaced my make up as I knew two Ambassadors selling Tropic so tried to support them both.

The first Tropic roadshow came to Norwich, and of course I went along to learn a bit more about this lovely company.

Then this year’s roadshow in January was right near were I live so I went along again, and I was so inspired by the Ambassadors who sat on stage telling their stories on why they had become Ambassadors and why they loved there jobs so much.

It was while I sat listening that I decided that I could become an Ambassador as I loved the products and the whole ethos behind the brand.  Susie Ma (the Founder) is an inspiration, and she has a real passion for her products.  I knew I would feel confident enough to sell to my family and friends, and I am a lady who loves pampering, so thought it would be a great job for me!

I went to my training meeting and ordered my kit, and couldn’t wait for it to arrive.  In the meantime I was contacting people and telling them what I was going to be doing, and inviting them to my launch party, and asking if they would be interested in hosting a pamper for me, or having a facial done so I could get some practice in before my launch party.

People were happy to support me and help; even the people who had never taken care of their skin before, or who didn’t have the money to spend.  Some of these ladies have now fallen in love with Tropic and are becoming regular customers, although I’m not allowed to tell their husbands!

I had my launch party which was a great success, and did my first pamper, and was loving my new career.  I was hitting my leap aheads and sailing along nicely.  I had my heart set on getting the white bag to put all my kit in, and had 30 days to achieve this, but then we had the bad snow week and my hostess cancelled her pamper the day before, and to say I wasn’t disappointed would be a lie (but I also understood why).

I had two days to hit my final target as I really wanted that bag – I then pleaded and begged, gave 10% discounts to get that bag I’d set my heart on!

I got some orders and bought a Deluxe Skincare Collection myself, and it was while I was putting the order through the system crashed (I could have sworn) – thinking it was my device, I then turned on another IPad I have and that was playing up too.

Thinking this is not meant to be and my time was running out, as I had about 4 hours to get this ordered, I messaged my Manager Nicola, but knew she was doing an online event herself so she may not get back to me.  But she did (bless her) and she found out the system had crashed and no one could get orders through either – I was not alone and I felt I had the support of my Manager and I knew that everything would be OK.

Eventually the system was back up and running my order was put through and I hit my target and got my bag, plus my new products for free!

So far it’s been an amazing start to my new business and I’m getting reorders and new customers, and pamper party’s are steady.  I’m loving having my home full of lovely Tropic products and feeling fulfilled from introducing them to other people so they can enjoy them too!

This blog is by Lorraine Brooks – to find out more about her journey or Tropic Skincare please contact her through my Facebook group HERE

How winning awards can transform your business

We were delighted to have our members R A Brown Heating Services speak at a recent meeting about how awards had transformed their business.

Louise came along to show us their impressive collection of awards and talk about the impact it had made on their business, sharing some valuable tips too.

R A Brown specialise in the design and installation of ground and air source heat pumps, and always knew they weren’t just a run of the mill heating engineer company.

A nomination was made in an industry award – which they won, and it had a huge snowball effect. Awards are now a firm part of their marketing strategy and Louise shared her top tips for winning awards…

You’ve got to be in it to win it

It’s an old saying but it’s true. Every year, c0-director Richard feels their work isn’t good enough to win. Yet time and time again he’s proved wrong. You have to look at your work positively and go for it.

Blow your own trumpet!

Many of us find this difficult, but it’s important, so be proud of what you do. Applying for awards is inextricably linked with business development and keeping your competitive edge.

Passion wins awards

Louise says they now prefer the awards where you get the opportunity to speak to the judges following a written application. They’ve been told many times that their passion for their field shines through. Save something back to add extra information to the presentation – for R A Brown, that’s often an update on the performance of the heating system.

The David and Goliath complex

Don’t be afraid to pit yourself against much bigger companies. Awards are based on the quality of work or impact you’ve made, not on the number of employees. Often bigger companies hire a marketing agency to apply for awards for them, which means the passion is diluted.

Set targets

It might sound crazy, but it takes time to prepare award applications so schedule them into your diary and always think ahead. R A Brown try to win one or two awards each year, and Louise suggests setting your targets according to the time and resources you have available. Every sector has different awards, but don’t overlook general awards such as the EDP Business Awards.

Don’t be downhearted

If you get shortlisted but don’t win, use the awards night as an opportunity to network.


Worth a read: 8 Reasons to enter business awards, even if you don’t win


Pay attention to the questions

Award applications can be a bit like a lengthy job application. It’s important to answer the questions carefully rather than just trying to sell yourself and what you want to say.

Down to the nitty gritty

Firstly, keep an eye on trade/sector magazines who often run awards and local press for local business awards. Read through the categories and criteria carefully to make sure it’s a good fit and that you have a fairly unique offering. Keep asking yourself “what makes me/us different” as you complete the application.

If there’s the chance to supply supporting evidence, a powerpoint works well as you can add images and text as well as stats to demonstrate your business growth. And tie in award applications with your blog or case studies and obtain testimonials regularly – these are invaluable when it comes winning awards, and shows your customers blowing your trumpet too!

If you work completely on your own then use a community like Her Business Brew to get feedback on your draft award applications before submitting. And remember, you deserve a new dress for the awards ceremony and probably more than 1 glass of prosecco.

Plaster successes everywhere!

Customers are impressed by award-winning companies. If you win, put the award logos everywhere – on your website, social media, email signature, pop-up banners, brochures and flyers, in advertorial press, try for free press coverage if you can get it – make that award work hard for you!

 

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How winning awards can transform your business