On Facebook, I belong to several groups that help me grow and expand my abilities. One of those groups does a weekly Featured Business. This week was my turn to explain Why I have Chosen to make Networking in Argyll more accessible to everyone.
I’m very proud to share that feature with you!
Ideas Into Action Collective – Business of the Week Feature
Tell us your name: Samantha Marshall
Tell us your Business name: Network Develop Succeed (NDS)
Q1. How long has your business been going?
As this incarnation, since October 2017, but my business down south was Samantha Marshall: Network-Develop-Succeed from 1st Jan 2015
Q2. How would you sum up what your business does in a nutshell?
We bring adults together virtually, or face to face (Network) and find out what they want to make better in their lives (Develop). Then we use our skills and the skills of those around us to help them achieve their goals (Succeed)
Q3. What is your business’s USP (Unique Selling Point – what makes you different from other businesses in your field)?
My Co-Founder in NDS is Carol Thomas – we recently calculated that between us we have in excess of 70 years of business experience. We have both worked for global blue-chips and we have worked for small independent companies before striking out on our own. We both have a training background but Carol’s methods and mine are vastly different. One of us is Introvert, the other Extrovert. One of us is a big picture strategist, the other focussed on a more short term wins. It is our differences that give us our strength but it is our ingrained desire to help anyone who turns to us that unites us, lights us and gets our creativity firing.
We offer something for everyone!! Wherever we go, we leave others smiling.
Q4. Who is your Ideal Customer Avatar? Can you work with customers regardless of where they live, or are you targeted at a specific locale (if so, where is that?)
NDS is focussing its attention to the county of Argyll. We do have a 5 year goal to increase that reach, but for now we want to focus on getting regular face to face networking in place to cover the hard to reach places in Argyll. We are looking predominantly at businesses, however, we recognise that there are a proportion of the adult population who don’t have a business but who would love to meet others. As these are our potential customers, we are creating a truly open network. Providing you are over 18, there are no entry requirements at all. Just rock up and chat to us.
We are exploring trips to Mull and are exploring networking at other centres such as Lochgilphead, Oban, Tarbert and maybe Campbelltown to ensure that anyone who wants to network can, without having to travel for hours.
NDS has started this process by setting up #argyllhour on Twitter, which is a way for people to network virtually. We currently have 387 followers and we are growing daily. It is our intention to run virtual networking alongside face to face networking to give maximum coverage.
Why networking? Because it is the quickest way to get your message out to multiple people and by building relationships with each other, organic referrals will occur.
Q5. What transformations do you bring to your Customer? What do they do better because of working with you? How is their business/life improved?
Currently, I am giving out social media & networking advice – focussed on how to make the best from Twitter. I have about 5 people this week alone who are taking their first steps and I’m holding their hand.
I believe that the biggest transformation we bring to the customer is self-belief. An understanding of what they want to achieve, options for how to achieve it and support to implement those options. We are like the stabilisers on a child’s bike – we are there to guide and support in the early days when riding is wobbly and then as the confidence grows, we remove the stabilisers but still have a hand hovering around your back until the riding of the bike is ingrained and the person is flying by themselves.
Q6. What is most important to you about your business?
Helping others achieve their goals
Q7. What are the core values that drive your business?
Helping Others and Being Authentic in everything we do
Q8. What is the best thing about owning your own business?
The freedom to choose how I spend my time – the freedom to determine what is important – the freedom to be a leader and demonstrate the core values that guide me.
Q9. What are your big goals for 2018?
Well actually, we are accelerating our 2019 goals into 2018.
- Have a face to face network meeting with a minimum of 20 attendees in October 2018
- Create online training to help people with a variety of topics
- Build on being the “go-to-girls” for all things networking.
- Design a value based membership group who share our vision and ideals and ripple our message sustainable throughout the Highlands and Islands and beyond
Q10. What are your biggest challenges in 2018?
Building traction through virtual networking to have a core of 50 people who will support the face to face meeting.
Generating regular income
Prioritising and balancing the projects that we have started to implement. Between us, Carol and I are very creative in seeing needs all around us – we then have to decide which need is the most pressing for us to deal with before we can move on to other things which may inspire us more!!
Q11. What was your inspiration for starting your business?
I was in education for a long time. Funding came and went. Training Delivery quality reduced so along with reduced funding, this did not sit well with me. I know that I am good at training others so I struck out on my own in 2013, delivering training much as I had done before but as a consultant. Part of this journey included networking, which I realised I loved, and realised that there was a call for people to be trained in effective networking, which led me to Samantha Marshall: Network-Develop-Succeed – because I was branding myself first…. Then I spent more and more time with Carol and it became obvious to both of us that we were so complementary in our skills and experience that re-launching Network Develop Succeed as a co-founded business was quite clearly the way forward and here we are!!
Q12. Who is your business role model and why?
I have many role models depending on what I’m looking at.
- Carol Thomas for her strategic and pragmatic approach
- Karen Yates for her depth and breadth of knowledge, imparted in a very simple way to make it duplicatable and for stating the obvious, which has been hidden by all the other soundbites that distract me on a daily basis
- Gavin Mountford for his laser focus on Attraction marketing
- Eric Worre for his foundation in network marketing
- Richard Branson for his continued application to betterment and vision
- Tony Robbins for his mindset challenges
Q13. What do you love to do in your spare time?
Spare time? Oh yes!! Well I am trying to master Golf (I recently won the Ladies’ longest drive in competition)!! I also attend regular yoga lessons which is very calming to the mind and great for the balance. I read – sometimes business, sometimes great fiction, sometimes trashy chick-lit but I read incessantly
Q14. What career/job did you to aspire to when you were at school?
I was going to be an accountant – in fact I’m part qualified, but I realised very early on it was not the career path for me. I’m much more of a Blue Personality than I am a Green, so minute attention to detail sends me to sleep!!
Q15. If you could travel back in time and give your younger self some business advice, what would it be?
You ARE as good as They say you are.
You ARE capable of Everything They say you can do
You HAVE all the skills you need to move forward