Recession in Hampshire – Crisis or Opportunity

The more time I spend at networking events in Winchester and Hampshire, the more the topic of recession is raised and discussed.

In truth, although it is a topic that is hot on everyones lips, I have seen little evidence of the credit crunch effecting Hampshire companies within the circles I move in – if you talk to people and read local press such the Hampshire Chronicle there are many positive stories and examples of new businesses launching in and around Hampshire, those that should be worst hit such as construction companies and mortgage companies appear to be taking affirmative action and being just a little bit more focussed and intelligent with their marketing and their approach to new business generation.

I guess this anomoly could be down to the fact that those companies that I’m speaking of haven’t hidden behind their desks bemoaning the incoming ‘times of doom’, instead they are out and about making new contacts, actively seeking business and making an even bigger effort than usual.

These guys appear to be looking at the recession as a massive opportunity, a time that forces them to take stock of processes, cashflow and new business generation. Also a time in which competition may be decreasing and the opportunity for inexpensive acquisition is ripe.

 I’ve always loved Duncan Banatynes attitude when it comes to business – in a nutshell, anyone can do it, they just need to get off their posteriors, get out there and put the effort in.

Networking Winchester, Hampshire

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When we started our Winchester based business, we really had no idea where to look for potential clients and partners, so I felt that it might be helpful to

Most of our business is gained through word of mouth or networking primarily in Winchester, but also other areas in Hampshire. We belong to three primary networking groups.

1) BNI

BNI is a weekly breakfast meeting held in Winchester at the Winchester Royal hotel. We pay an annual fee and £10 per meeting which includes a very generous buffet breakfast. BNI is totally focussed on giving and recieving business and is quite rigid in terms of attendance and contribution. Not everyones cup of tea, but it’s been going for over 20 years and really does work for us. It tends to attract smaller businesses, but it’s more about who those people know so it can pan out quite nicely.

2) The Chamber of Commerce

We’ve only attended one lunch so far, but we will be attending a speed networking event in the Winchester hotel very soon. The Chamber is well known locally and tends to attract a more professional, larger business than groups like BNI. Despite our ‘toe in the water’ experience, we’ve already picked up one very good partner who has already started to feed work to us.

3) The Wow Network

This isn’t Winchester based, but seems to float around locally. It’s different from the other events in that its focus is on business owners and running a business as opposed to simply getting business. Definitely worth a look.

If anyone is reading this and would like an introduction to any of these networks, don’t hesitate to get in touch, I’d be more than happy to arrange an invite.

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