The Busy Women Networking Blog 

Member Spotlight: Tia Henderson 

 
Name: Tia Henderson 
 
Company: Tia Hair and Makeup Artist 
 
Phone: 07495784689 
 
 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I joined BWN in January 2017 to meet like minded business women just like me! I have been a member for just under a year now. 
 
What does your business do? 
I am a specialist Hair and Makeup Artist and I make women feel and look amazing! 
 
What makes you or your business different? 
It’s all about enhancing, not covering. I make women just like you feel and look the best version of themselves by letting your personality shine through! 
 
What makes you smile or laugh? 
The thing that makes me smile the most is spending time with my niece and nephews! They really can light up a dull day! 
 
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your business, and looking back, what would you do differently? 
I would say the biggest challenge I’ve faced in my business is not believing in myself. To overcome this, I have worked so much on me and my mindset and this has helped me get through those tough moments we all have! If I could go back I would just tell myself to stop, take a moment and think! 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what benefits has it brought you? 
I was always worried about networking as it seemed daunting meeting a group of women who were so successful in so many ways, but being apart of BWN has made me so much stronger with all the support that all the BWN ladies can offer! 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
The thing I’m most passionate about is helping other women overcome self hate. Whether this is through the services I offer or just helpful advice, I know how it can feel to not love yourself but with all the hard work I have put in to help me overcome this, I know I can help any woman I meet reignite their love for themselves! 

Be Social with Tia 

Member Spotlight: Caroline Strawson 

 
 
Name: Caroline Strawson 
 
Company: Active Life Rewards 
 
Phone: 07904 557657 
 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I joined BWN in December 2014 and had never been networking before. I wanted to build my confidence and gain new business and that is exactly what it has done. 
 
What does your business do? 
My business is all about protection, so life insurance, critical illness, income protection and private medical insurance. 
 
What makes you or your business different? 
My business is very different from the traditional broker selling insurance because I have a passion for helping people get peace of mind through protecting themselves and their loved ones. Another differentiator is that you get rewarded for living a healthy lifestyle, with perks like free cinema tickets every week, free Starbucks every week and 40-50% off your gym membership. We also have extra rewards purely for Active Life Rewards customers, such as 15% off Whittlebury Spa, a discount for York Tests, which is Europe's leading food intolerance testing company, a free Fitbit or £100 towards any activity tracker per policy. I genuinely want to help individuals and families get healthy, so all policy holders' children also receive a free unbranded activity tracker so the whole family can actively engage in living a healthier lifestyle. All of this is also on our exclusive online group on Facebook with monthly competitions, motivation and ensuring all our customers make the most of their rewards with their policy. This is not just at the point of sale, but an ongoing relationship with our customers throughout their policy, so they get the peace of mind knowing they are protected and get lots of monthly savings so the cost of the policy ends up paying for itself. 
 
What makes you smile or laugh? 
I love spending time with my family, especially my two children, Will and Maddie, and they always make me smile and laugh as we have such a close bond. 
 
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your business, and looking back, what would you do differently? 
The biggest challenge I have faced is my own mindset and belief that I am good enough and can have a successful business! Looking back, I would have got myself a business coach far sooner, who incidentally, I met at a BWN meeting! 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what benefits has it brought you? 
I was very nervous and scared about networking before I started as I thought everyone was successful, confident and knew what they were doing, unlike me at the time! However, I soon realised after getting to know the women at these groups, that we all face the same insecurities and challenges, which is why BWN is an amazing place to nurture and grow your friendships and confidence in a safe environment. 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
I am most passionate about helping people and empowering everyone to live the happiest and healthiest life they can. I want to help others have the belief in themselves that they are good enough, because for a very long time, I was none of these. It is definitely through BWN and the friendships I have made that has given me the courage and confidence to now have the business I do. 

Be Social with Caroline 

Member Spotlight: Debbie Tear 

 
Name: Debbie Tear 
 
Company: Dialect Telecom 
 
Phone: 07912 088069 
 
 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I’ve been a member of Busy Women for quite a few years now. It was an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded ladies who are all focused on helping each other. I think women do networking so well; its second nature for us to help others. 
 
What does your business do? 
We help businesses stay connected! Whether that’s installing new lines and faster broadband in new premises, providing a landline telephone number to give sole traders a bigger market presence or providing a VoIP phone system that gives businesses greater flexibility for an ever changing business day. It’s estimated that our internet usage will double year on year and with the pressures that we have in business, everyone wants faster broadband these days but they also need it to be reliable. We can help with that. 
 
What makes you or your business different? 
We keep our promises and we do what we say we’ll do. For us, the main thing is to help and make a difference. We see so many people being promised a new phone system that doesn’t work or they haven’t been shown how to use it or they are paying way over the odds for what they're getting. We offer good, honest telecoms at a price that’s right. 
 
What makes you smile or laugh? 
I love it when our customers tell us that we’ve really made a difference to their businesses by having the VoIP phones or faster broadband. It makes me happy to know we’ve had a part in their success. At home, my girls make me laugh! 
 
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your business, and looking back, what would you do differently? 
When you run your own business, there are always challenges that present themselves. I think the secret is to tackle them head on and learn from the situation. Every business should evolve and needs to keep up with the times, especially in the telecoms industry, even if that means going out of your comfort zone every now and then! 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what benefits has it brought you? 
I had heard good things about networking so I looked forward to going and haven’t been disappointed. For us, alongside customer referrals, it’s where we get most of our business from. It’s always interesting getting to know people and hearing where they get their inspiration from. 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
I’m most passionate about helping people and spreading the word. As a busy business owner, wife and mum, I realise how important quality time is. Our VoIP phone system manages calls to give business owners their quality time back, so that their customers know when they’re available, or more importantly when they’re not available. Give us a call - we're here to help! 

Be Social with Debbie 

Member Spotlight: Ann Little 

 
Name: Ann Little 
 
Company: Pink Spaghetti Luton, Bedford and Surrounds 
 
Phone: 07818 032172  
 
 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I've been a member of the Ampthill group since it started in October last year. I joined BWN because I love the format, with the 10 minute 121 each month, and the support of Aruna and all the ladies, whichever group you go to. This is something I haven't found at another ladies networking group. 
 
What does your business do? 
Pink Spaghetti offers PA services. The scope of the services is huge, but the end results is that our clients can reclaim their time and do the things that really matter, growing their business, rather than the things they feel they need to do, like diary, CRM and social media management. 
 
What makes you or your business different? 
We get to know and understand a client's business, and act as though we are their employee. Friendly, approachable and efficient, we get jobs done! 
 
What makes you smile or laugh? 
My son, cat and dog probably top that list! 
 
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your business, and looking back, what would you do differently? 
I faced several, specific challenges in my first year of business, and the challenge was keeping mentally positive in the face of them. I learnt from that, and looking back I would have put things behind me sooner; moved on quicker. 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what benefits has it brought you? 
I know that networking is crucial for my business, but that didn't stop me being nervous when I first started networking. The majority of my business is through networking and referrals, so without networking I wouldn't have built my business to what it is today. Aside from the business aspect, I have been lucky enough to meet some great people, make business collaborations and friendships. 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
Making a difference to people's lives. 

Be Social with Ann 

Member Spotlight: Emma Hayes 

 
Name: Emma Hayes 
 
Company: Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa 
 
Phone: 01327 850473 
 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa joined BWN approximately 3 years ago now, and I personally joined when the Whittlebury group was launched in 2015, so I've been a member for over 2 years now. I have visited a large number of other BWN groups during this time, and attended additional events that are open to us through this networking group, including the summer party and Christmas party. 
 
What does your business do? 
Located in Towcester, Northampton, Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa is the leading hotel, conference and event venue in the Midlands. My role within this outstanding venue is Head of Event Sales, where I am dedicated to developing new and maintaining exciting client relationships and support this in achieving their event goals. 
 
What makes you or your business different? 
We are AIM Gold Accredited – the only AIM Gold venue in the Midlands. Gold is the highest accreditation that a venue can achieve, which is governed by the leading meeting and event association, MIA. The process to get this is very in-depth (the most I have ever had to go through) and is reviewed every 3 years. You're probably wondering what this means to an event booker. It means we are governed to conduct business in certain ways, meaning you are guaranteed the best possible service in the industry – and if you, as the consumer, is not happy with how we do this and how we deal with the complaint, you can raise this with the association directly. As with everything we do, customer service is at the forefront of what we deliver and it is for this reason that we have introduced our customer service promise to event bookers. 
 
What clientele are you trying to appeal to? 
Due to the variety of meeting and event spaces we have available, our clientele can be anyone who is looking to hold an event. It can be a individual looking for a birthday celebration, hen celebration, engagement party or a wedding, to a corporate company who host conferences, meetings, corporate golf events, team building events and Christmas parties. This being said, we have a number of syndicate rooms if someone is looking for a professional environment to hold clients meetings for a few hours too. The list is endless – I hate to say it but we really are a one stop shop at Whittlebury. There isn’t anything we can’t do… 
 
What makes you smile or laugh? 
Everything makes me smile. I am renowned in work and at home to always have a smile on my face, which I pride myself on. However cliché it may sound, I like helping people - there really is no feeling like it. Whether it be helping my colleagues to better themselves, helping a client finalise a venue for their event (even it this isn’t Whittlebury!) or helping my step son at home with his homework. Just being able to help others is incredibly important to me. 
 
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your business, and looking back, what would you do differently? 
Within a company of our size, we have a huge support network around us so it's very rare we face challenges due to the nature of our business and experience of our team. That being said, I am about to embrace one of my biggest challenges yet in my role of Head of Event Sales focusing on specific markets that I haven’t worked in for some time, so watch this space! 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what benefits has it brought you? 
I have been fortunate enough to network since I was in my early 20s. At the time I was absolutely petrified, however on entering the room everyone was so friendly and welcoming that I never looked back. Networking is something I have taken to every role I've been in since I started. It has developed me as in individual immensely. Improving my communication skills, my sales techniques and not forgetting my confidence. Of course, it has benefited all businesses that I have worked for as well. What we all need to remember about networking is, it takes time! You need to develop and maintain relationships, support for fellow networkers and really understand what they do before you can help. Having that support unit around you through networking is second to none! 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
People, whether they're my colleagues, clients or associated industry peers. 
My development. For those who know me, I am my worst critic and always striving to be the better me, planning ahead knowing where I want to go. 
My family. 

Be Social with Emma & Whittlebury Hall 

Member Spotlight: Chrissie Wingrave 

 
Name: Chrissie Wingrave 
 
Company: Utility Warehouse 
 
Phone: 07986073017 
 
 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I first joined BWN 2 years ago at the Bedford group. 
 
What does your business do? 
Utility Warehouse helps families and businesses reduce their household expenditure or costs through our unique award winning discount club. We provide all your utilities on a single bill with the addition of our unique cashback card, where the shopping you do anyway gives you extra discounts every month. 
 
What makes you or your business different? 
I think what makes me different is that I genuinely like helping people. Be they potential customers, or already signed up with the club. I am very willing to spend time ironing out any wrinkles and show how brilliant the discount club is, alongside giving time to individuals to maximise the UW potential, even if they aren’t my original customers. 
 
What clientele are you trying to appeal to? 
People who love to shop! These guys can make huge savings with the club. Equally small businesses that need an experienced eye to see if they can make additional savings. 
 
What makes you smile or laugh? 
People say I’m a naturally smiley person. I do laugh at situational moments in a Laurel and Hardy kind of way, I also laugh at our two dogs who make me smile with their shenanigans most days! I think dogs naturally celebrate every moment of the day. 
 
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your business, and looking back, what would you do differently? 
When I’m helping people make the switch and the other provider makes unfounded allegations. I’ve learnt to say "we are recording this call." I have a strong ethical belief which is reflected in the standards UW does its best to achieve. It's part of the reason why I am so passionate about the brand. 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what benefits has it brought you? 
I found network marketing terrifying when I first started. Aruna's Busy Women Networking in Bedford was the first group I joined. Without their kindness and help to a networking newbie I genuinely believe I wouldn’t have been able to give up my daytime job to enable more time to do this wonderful business. I officially “retired” from my JOB on 2nd May 2017! 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
I’m most passionate about my family, health, food and UW of course! 

Be Social with Chrissie 

Member Spotlight: Heide Swift 

 
Name: Heide Swift 
 
Company: Swift Mortgages 
 
Phone: 07903 302895 
 
 
 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I joined BWN in January 2017 after attending a couple of the Ampthill groups as a guest, including the launch meeting last September. I have done some networking in other groups but in my view, BWN’s differentiator is that you have a one to one with another member during the meeting. At other groups, once you’ve sat down you don’t tend to get much quality time with a single individual and although everyone’s intentions are good, it’s often hard to find the time to follow up with people afterwards. Before you know it, the next month’s meeting is only a couple of days away! 
 
What does your business do? 
Part of my job is to help people secure finance for property. Whether that be a new mortgage for a property purchase or a re-mortgage. There are many reasons why people re-mortgage – the obvious one is to improve your rate of interest to bring down your monthly repayments. A report published in March 2017 indicated that more than 1.1 million households in the UK could improve their interest rate which would save them, on average, £2,500 per year. 
 
Another side to my work, however, is the creation of a safety net to protect everything that’s important to an individual. This might be their home, their income, their life, their health, their family or even their business – all of which could be adversely affected by an unexpected event at the drop of a hat. The security of knowing your future is financially protected against life’s curve balls is quite empowering. 
 
What makes you or your business different? 
Well, me! I like to think people buy people and I do like people! My clients are not with me just until their mortgage is submitted or even just until it completes – I’ll keep you informed during the whole process and answer any questions or help in any way I can. The conveyancing process can be quite complicated and people often ask for help in that area, even if they’re not first time buyers. I’ll go back to clients and review their circumstances at the appropriate times so I have a long-term relationship with them. It’s not just about a quick sale and move on. 
 
What clientele are you trying to appeal to? 
The spectrum of services I provide is quite wide, so I can help anyone no matter their age or requirements. But realistically, people who want to re-mortgage. Whether it is their residential home or investment property with a buy to let mortgage, I can help search the market and find them the most appropriate product available. People re-mortgage for various reasons but with money so cheap at the moment, it’s the ideal time to raise additional funds to pay off debt such as credit cards or loans, or even to make home improvements. Why keep paying massive interest rates on a credit or personal loan when you could raise the funds through your mortgage? There are mortgage interest rates at well below 2% currently so it can be a great way of improving your monthly cashflow if you pay off debts. 
 
What makes you smile or laugh? 
My son often makes me laugh. He’s nearly 13 and developing quite a sense of humour. Life’s short and they grow up so quickly, so cherish the time you have with your children! 
 
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your business, and looking back, what would you do differently? 
In truth, the most difficult thing early on was actually putting a value on me and my time. When I started up, I almost felt I needed to get new business at any cost. I have learned along the way that if people don’t make a (financial) commitment to you, they are quite happy to leave you high and dry along the process and you end up feeling resentful that you’ve done much work for no apparent gain. What I’d do differently is to think carefully before saying “yes” to everything. Sometimes you need to say “no” and that’s ok. 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what benefits has it brought you? 
I was quite nervous about networking, particularly in women only groups. All my previous jobs have been in male-dominated environments so I’ve not really had much experience of dealing with women in such large numbers! However, I’ve learned that women are keen to help each other so although you may not get immediate business benefits in terms of income, you do get support, an ear to listen and if necessary a shoulder to cry on if you need it! You don’t find that in mixed networking groups. 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
I’m passionate about people being financially secure. The older I get, the more I realise that people’s lives can be turned upside down at the drop of a hat. People probably think I “just do mortgages” but the protection side of things is vital (whether you have a mortgage or not!) to give you peace of mind to go about your daily life worrying about the unexpected happening. If you’re happy, I’m happy! 
 
Swift Mortgages: Lending you a Helping Hand 
 
Your home may be repossessed if you fail to keep up repayments on your mortgage or other loan secured on it. 

Be Social with Heide 

Member Spotlight: Nicky Marchant 

 
Name: Nicky Marchant 
 
Company: Fox Brand Image 
 
Phone: 07880 783058 
 
 
Nicky is one of our longest running BWNers, with a heart of gold and a zest for life that's hard to beat. You're bound to have seen her happily mingling away at one of our summer or Christmas events, but if you haven't been able to get to know her properly, here's your chance! 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I joined BWN when it was in Olney right at the very beginning and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Networking nowadays is an essential part of the business building strategy – you find out what people are doing, how they are doing it and get business. I have made lifelong connections at BWN and made lots of business. 
 
What does your business do? 
My business, Fox Brand Image, helps people to create a brand by understanding fully who they are and what they stand for in an entrepreneurial world where you as a brand is becoming paramount. People who make all their communications focused on their unique benefits to their customer in a genuine authentic UNIQUE way are the one’s winning business. 
 
What makes you / your business different? 
Like every single business woman reading this, we all have a different mix of elements to bring to our business. I haven’t come across anyone who has the combination of skills I have - corporate brand marketing, holistic health and personal coaching, over 7 years of networking combined with a good dollop of humour stirred in with a personal caring touch! I have heard many 40 seconds pitches, seen thousands of business cards, banners, websites and Facebook pages. I know how to make all of a person’s skills relevant and powerful, and distil it down into a collection of key words in a tidal wave of global entrepreneurial change. 
 
What clientele are you trying to appeal to? 
Anyone who has their own business, or is working for a corporate company, or who represents a company such as a network marketing company, because it is possible to create standout even when there are many doing the same thing. Again it’s about being genuine authentic and totally you. If we are not careful the world creates many to be vanilla - be your own flavour! 
 
What makes you smile/laugh? 
Life! I laugh every day because when we laugh we choose life to live and be happy. It’s essential to find humour in and around yourself to stay real, otherwise what’s the point? 
 
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your business, and looking back, what would you do differently? 
There have been no challenges, just opportunities to grow and evolve. We live in one of the most exciting times right now. I wouldn’t change a thing. Every experience I have had has shaped who I am today. 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
Life! Whoever has taken the trouble to read this I appreciate you. I hope you connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn and let’s start a conversation, because you are AMAZING! Have a great day! 
 
Be your brand – out and loud. 
 
A definition of a brand: 
Unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer's mind. Thus brands help harried consumers in crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value. 
 
"This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!" 

Be Social with Nicky 

Member Spotlight: Jane Sumner 

 
Name: Jane Sumner 
 
Company: Image Matters 
 
Phone: 07779 585323 
 
 
Chances are you've met the lovely Jane at one of our meetings, especially if you came to our Christmas 2015 networking event where she showcased her amazing talents with a fashion show. Whether you've been friends with Jane for years or haven't met her yet, her anwers to our questions will help you get to know her a bit better and understand what makes her tick.  
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I joined BWN when the Salford group launched about three years ago, I think. My reason for joining was I was looking for a ladies networking group to promote my Captain Tortue business. I had been part of a mixed networking group and although the guys were great, they clearly weren’t going to be as interested as the women! 
 
What does your business do? 
My business has two strands. I manage a team of women building their own businesses, which we do by promoting a fantastic range of French clothing sold direct to the end consumer. It isn’t available to buy on the high street or on the internet so we bring the shop to the you! Whether you’re at home or work, in small groups or one to one sessions, we show you how to look good and feel confident. We like to encourage you to try styles and colours you may not have had the confidence to wear before too. 
 
What makes you / your business different? 
My team and my personal customers benefit from the 21 years’ extensive experience I’ve had in the image industry. I can offer help and advice around capsule wardrobe ideas, which styles and fabrics will work on different body shapes and how blending colours correctly gives a far more congruent wardrobe, which ultimately saves our customers time and money. 
 
What clientele are you trying to appeal to? 
Our range appeals to women who are time poor, often hate shopping on the high street, can’t find anything that fits properly and are looking for some fresh new ideas for their wardrobe. That’s not to say we don’t have lots of customers who love shopping too! We offer great hostess incentives for those who would like to host an event; a host and two others is all we’re looking for. You can get money off your own clothes and receive a great hostess gift as a thank you. If that’s not for you, we can offer personal one to one shops instead. 
 
From a business perspective, we are always looking for women who love the Captain Tortue clothing and would like a business with a wardrobe of clothes for 50% less than the retail price, and in some cases, free! We all start with a business in a bag for just £150, which provides 18 garments ready for you to show and wear immediately. We offer an ongoing training and support programme and will work with you to develop the business in the way that you want to. Our consultants all have different reasons for joining. For some, it’s the free clothes. For others, it’s the social aspect, and of course for others, it’s to make money too! 
 
What makes you smile/laugh? 
What makes me smile is seeing someone look in the mirror for the first time after I’ve styled them and hearing them say how good they feel. I also love hearing the comment, “I would never have chosen that”, whether they’re talking about the style, colour or combination of clothing. 
 
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your business, and looking back, what would you do differently? 
The biggest challenge being self-employed for over 20 years is to learn to juggle family commitments effectively with the need to earn money in a way that works around the family. What would I do differently? I’d ask for help sooner rather than thinking I can do it all myself! I now have a very supportive network of business colleagues, many of which are now friends, who I can ask anything and not feel stupid! 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what benefits has it brought you? 
I have networked for many years, so it’s difficult to remember exactly how I felt before I started! I do know many people expect that the only reason the people in the room are there for is to “sell” their product or service. This isn’t the case at all! It takes time to earn peoples trust and respect, which doesn’t happen over a couple of visits. 
 
There have been many benefits to networking. Finding people to assist me in my own business from my accountant, IT consultant, social media expert and financial advisor, to name a few. I have found businesses that complement my business and we have run collaborative events that benefit both of us. I have many customers now in the networking group, but that took time and effort to achieve. I have also made some amazing and very supportive friends who really understands my challenges as they have similar ones themselves! 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
My passion is to help all the women who come to me look and feel their very best, so they have the confidence to be whatever they want to be. I want them to feel safe in the knowledge that however they feel on the inside, the outside is looking fantastic! In addition, with Captain Tortue, I can give women an opportunity to have their own business and become financially independent if that’s their goal. 

2016 – What a Year! 

2016 has been a truly amazing year for Busy Women Networking. We’ve loved every minute of our meetings and events throughout the year and feel so privileged and delighted that you’ve chosen to be part of our networking organisation. 
 
We saw record numbers at our summer and Christmas events, and our meetings have continued to go from strength to strength across Beds, Bucks and Northants, so much so that we opened a new group! Our first Ampthill meeting took place in September in response to an increased interest around the Beds and Bucks border. 
 
In order for our new Ampthill meeting to run, we needed a warm, friendly, passionate and determined lady to take charge of it, and who better than Ellie Ashton! We'd like to take this opportunity to publicly congratulate Ellie on all her hard work so far and welcome our new Ampthill members to BWN. 
 
Two large highlights for us this year were our summer and Christmas events. Over 60 business women attended our summer garden party, held in the lovely grounds of Chicheley Hall, where we ran speed networking sessions and a forum focusing on getting the most out of networking. 
 
Our Magical Christmas Networking event at Whittlebury Hall was attended by nearly 100 business ladies – a record breaking attendance for a Busy Women event! We were thrilled to see so many ladies joining in with our theme, wearing black and donning their masks. Networking was in full swing throughout both events and we couldn’t be more delighted to see everyone enjoying themselves. 
 
Whether you’re spending some quality time relaxing at home with friends and family, or visiting loved ones across the country this Christmastime, make sure you take some time to look back over 2016 and acknowledge your successes. It has truly been a fantastic year all round! 
 
We wish you all a wonderful, fun-filled Christmas full of laughter, joy and happiness! 
Member Spotlight: Julie Bean 
 
Name: Julie Bean 
 
Company: Double Trouble 
 
Phone: 07801 456812  
 
Email: julie@troublex2.com 
 
 
 
Many of our members will have met one half of the troublesome twosome, Julie Bean, but most of us probably haven't had enough time to sit down with Julie to find out more about her. Here's your chance. Get yourself a cup of tea, treat yourself to a biscuit, and find out more about one of Busy Women's much-loved members. 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I have been a member for over 5 years initially representing a company I was employed by and then as I started my own businesses. As a self employed person I joined as my experience of BWN had been a supportive, challenging but effective place in which to make business contacts and begin to develop my business. 
 
What does your business do? 
We are a business development company, using a number of services to help business to grow and develop. We work with sole traders right up to big blue chip companies, with services that range form individual, group and executive coaching, to running a full suite of training courses for individuals and businesses around communication, management, confidence and development, plus more. 
 
What makes you different? 
Gillian and I bring together 20+ years in the private sector for me and the same in the public sector for Gillian, that means we’ve covered most things in our working lives. Our coaching and training is centred around the individual not a hard and fixed process, and we look to encourage clients to find their own path with their thoughts and learning. We give people knowledge, but without the encouragement to find a way they can use this knowledge, it would all be worthless. But also we believe in having a lot of fun and laughter as we develop and grow with our clients. 
 
What clientele are you trying to appeal to? 
Wow, that’s a question! From a coaching point of view, we are looking to work with clients big or small who are looking to develop their businesses, for people who have either a sticking block that they want to move, or have reached a point where they want to move to the next point in the journey of their business. With training we are looking for clients who what to develop themselves, their business or their teams, they are normally companies of 10+ employees who have a desire to look at the people in their business and up-skill them to benefit the growth and efficiency of the business. 
 
What makes you smile or laugh? 
Friends and family. I can often take my job too seriously and spend a lot of time thinking, then over thinking, so time with friends and family not taking the world too seriously and just chatting makes me smile. Complicated intelligent comedy makes me laugh and as a hardened Saracens rugby supporter, a good game of rugby makes me smile. 
 
What's the biggest challenge you have faced in your business and looking back, what would you do differently? 
The biggest challenge has been to get a continued flow of regular work coming through levelling out the cashflow of the business. Looking back, I’d work more on my business and not in the business. I had pretty good plans in place (as you would hope from a business coach) but there have been times when I got too involved in the actual work, and lost the momentum of promotion, marketing and visibility of the business. This creates so much hard work as it's like starting from scratch over and over. By resolving this, our business has a really strong platform for stability and growth, as well as choice. 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what are the benefits it's brought you? 
I didn’t really understand networking before I started, my early experiences were poor, unprepared and frankly cringe worthy. But once you understand that networking is about relationship building and not instant selling, then your on to a good thing. Also you have to look beyond the room at the connections that the rooms holds outside of the networking. 
 
For me the benefits are huge. From a business viewpoint, BWN has provide me with £1000’s of business and I have been able to access suppliers that I can trust and rely upon. But BWN networking has also provide me with a whole new set of friends who provide me with support, not just in business, but during some difficult points in my personal life. 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
The easy answer is family. Having been married for 27 years with two grown up children (a dog, cat and lots of fish) they are why I do everything and they are at the front of my mind at all times. But, on a more business note, people are my passion and supporting them to realise their potential in business, though support, challenge, fun and building long standing relationships. 
 

Member Spotlight: Heather Kynnersley 

Name: Heather Kynnersley 
 
Company: The Digital Editor 
 
Phone: 07952 403044 
 
Email: info@the-digital-editor.co.uk 
 
Heather has been a member of Busy Women Networking for almost two years now, so chances are you will have bumped into her at one of our meetings, or one of our summer or Christmas events. If you want to know more about Heather and what makes her tick, get comfy and read on! 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I joined BWN when the Bedford group opened in early 2015. Knowing Aruna from another networking organisation, I was keen to find out more about her groups and how they worked because I’d never been to a meeting with only women before. Needless to say that almost two years later, I’m glad I joined! 
 
What does your business do? 
I help businesses get found online using search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques, managing social media strategies and writing for businesses. They all go hand in hand as you need well-written copy and a strong online presence to help your website get found these days. 
 
What makes you different? 
I like to think I’m approachable – I hope people agree! Many people shy away from what I do for numerous different reasons. Some think they don’t need an online presence, some just don’t know where to start, others have heard horror stories and many people are highly confused about the whole thing. I like to help people understand what I do in plain English, without using jargon, and I never, ever want people to feel like they can’t ask me “silly” questions! 
 
What clientele are you trying to appeal to? 
Micro to small businesses, although I do have a few medium sized businesses on my books too, which I enjoy working for. I generally prefer working for smaller businesses though as I like helping them to achieve success and compete with larger businesses. I tend to feel more like part of their team too, which really helps me understand their business and objectives. 
 
What makes you smile or laugh? 
As corny as it sounds, my other half makes me smile and laugh all the time, which I absolutely love. Aside from him, it has to be getting together with my friends and having a good catch up. 
 
What's the biggest challenge you have faced in your business and looking back, what would you do differently? 
This one’s easy; it’s definitely working on my business. Since day one I’ve struggled to find the time to focus on my business and do what I tell everyone else to do! Once again I have put plans in motion to rectify this, so fingers crossed for me please everyone! 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what are the benefits it's brought you? 
In all honesty, I really didn’t want to go networking initially. The idea of mingling with people I didn’t know, talking about things I probably didn’t understand and feeling self-conscious because I’d only just started my business all made me dread it. However, my view of networking completely changed when I found membership groups. I was reluctant to spend money on a membership initially as money was tight, but as soon as I did I realised the benefits. Making connections with like-minded business people who you see on a regular basis has made my business what it is today. Those connections and friendships have filled my diary with work and referrals and I couldn’t be more grateful! 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
Obviously I’m passionate about the people I have in my life, but other than that it has to be performing. I’ve been singing, dancing and acting since a very young age and there’s nothing quite like it for me. The rehearsals, the friendships you make, the teamwork to put on the best show possible, and of course the show itself and all the fun we have backstage. Performing will always be a huge part of my life. 
 

Member Spotlight: Stefanie Price 

Name: Stefanie Price 
 
Company: Stefanie Price Wealth Planning 
 
Phone: 07887 521459 
 
Email: Stefanie.Price@sjpp.co.uk 
 
If you've met Stefanie before, you'll know she's a friendly, caring and well-respected member of Busy Women Networking. For those of you who've not had the pleasure of meeting her yet, it's definitely time you did, albeit online if not in person. Grab a cuppa, get comfy and read on! 
 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
I joined Busy Women just over 3 years ago when I first set up my business. I decided to join after visiting many different networking groups as I felt that Busy Women offered the best combination of business networking, friendship and support through other business women. The atmosphere of the meetings I initially visited was open, relaxed and very inviting. 
 
What does your business do? 
At Stefanie Price Wealth Planning we provide financial advice to both private individuals and businesses. The advice we give is built around having an in depth understanding of our clients’ needs and priorities, and we’re trusted to provide advice and future plans that fit each individual client’s unique circumstances. We're passionate about making financial planning as easy as possible for people to understand, address and make positive changes to improve their financial future. 
 
What makes your business different? 
We’re different because we believe that everybody should have access to good financial advice, and that it shouldn’t be something that’s only available to the wealthy. We also pride ourselves on educating clients about their financial situation and future plans, rather than just advising them on what they should do. This is an important part of our relationship and ensures our clients are as informed as they need to be. 
 
What clientele are you trying to appeal to? 
We are currently working on quite a few tax planning cases and find this incredibly rewarding to do. In particular, planning with individuals who have an inheritance tax liability and want to look at ways to protect their estate from a 40% tax on their death, as well as business owners who want to look for the best and most efficient way to extract profit from their business’ tax. 
 
What makes you smile or laugh? 
My children. They are of an age that they are delightful and full of positive energy, from the minute they wake up to the minute they put their heads down in their pillows at night! 
 
What's the biggest challenge you have faced in your business and looking back, what would you do differently? 
The biggest challenge I've faced in my business was starting without a team of people to assist me. Albeit a small team, I now have a PA and a Paraplanner who work alongside me on all my client cases. This ensures that everything is done in a timely fashion for clients, without me having to get up at 4am to get things done! It also means that the ongoing service we can offer our clients remains at a high standard. If I were to do things differently, I would have started the business with these people in place rather than waiting until 18 months in! 
 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what are the benefits it's brought you? 
When I first started networking I was very nervous, as I'm sure the majority of people are. I was unsure what to expect and also a little unsure as to what was expected of me. The benefits are endless, and they go way beyond finding new clients, which is invariably what you are thinking about when you first start networking. I have a great network of professional women, some of whom have acted as mentors to me and my business, and many who I consider great friends. I have collaborated with networking colleagues to run joint events and have been able to grow both personally and in business through the support and advice they have given me. I have also gained many new business connections and clients over the years through Busy Women Networking. 
 
What are you most passionate about? 
I am most passionate about adding value to my clients’ futures and to my children and husband’s lives. It's always about taking that extra step to help the people that I care most about. 
 
Be Social with Stefanie 
 
 
 
 
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