When 0114 Marketing was launched on to the Sheffield regions’ business market I didn’t think I would be looking back today quite so proud and excited about the potential this city holds within itself and its business community.
It was my goal to get the kitchen table entrepreneurs and home office sole traders out from their kitchens, living rooms and home offices and actually meet, in real life, those in a similar position to themselves!
It has always been the mission of 0114 Marketing to not only show what is possible by the business owner in terms of marketing understanding and implementation, but also to create a community, something that is greater than the sum of it’s parts and really showcasing the spirit of entrepreneurialism in the city, and with the right amount of effort and thought, something special could be created.
Networking for people who don’t network. Business development for those who don’t do business development.
I started networking at some really dire places. It was the stereotypical events that someone from a none networking environment (like me!) would assume goes on at business networking events. It was overly bright rooms, hotel board rooms, soul-less spaces where the only objective was to get in, plaster the place with business cards, leave, and assume that was networking!
Networking and learning should be fun – but that wasn’t fun (or effective!)
The Google Digital Garage
Meanwhile, the appetite for marketing information and knowledge was tested in partnership with Google when the Power Hour introductory piece was launched in Sheffield. This was an 8-week programme that I designed for Google to support the local business community and show the potential for huge changes with incremental steps.
I often refer to small persistent steps when talking to smaller business owners about their business and marketing development and this was a prime example of that.
The room was fully booked sometimes 2 or 3 weeks ahead of itself so it was a good sign that the appetite for marketing learning and shared networking was there; it just seemed there was nowhere to go for all these talented people!
Meaningful relationships are key to modern marketing.
Meaningful conversations and relationships are formed when everyone can relax, there’s a nice atmosphere and absolutely no pressure to fling business cards off the roof like your life depends on it.
I needed to channel some of my previous years’ experience in events and build a business networking event that I would actually like to attend…cue The Power Hour Network!
The power to come together, network, relax, learn and embrace new ideas is reflected brilliantly in The Power Hour Network and it’s something that has grown into an effective and regular business networking event in Sheffield. It is partly business networking, part marketing, and business development.
I found that business owners who don’t like to network still needed to get out of their office and meet new people – and I wanted to test if it was traditional networking they didn’t like, or if people were just naturally reserved.
There are also the people who have their fill of business development and marketing knowledge but can come and mingle with others who they otherwise wouldn’t have met (and I also think you can always learn something new!)
The Power Hour Network and its sector experts.
I talk often about the power of collaboration and the opportunity it brings. By being a one-man band, sole trader, solopreneur, or whatever phrase you use for having no staff and it just being you employed within your business, it means the important and appreciation of building your support network has never been more important.
I talk often about the modern marketing way of nothing in isolation and to understand how online activity can support offline and how offline activity can be enhanced by online activity. The Power Hour Network is an example of that.
The 0114 Marketing Facebook Community is just over 600 members strong, formed much from digital activity. However, I would not have the strong collaborative supply chain relationships with designers, printers, photographers, professional services, and so on, had I not met them in real life, followed up online, and continued to nurture that relationship over the course of many face to face communications.
What topics do we cover at The Power Hour Network?
We have welcomed almost twenty local business experts to present at the session. The beauty of this is that anyone of these experts charges a considerable sum for their one to one work, which would often be out of the reach or necessity for some in the room. The sector experts give up their time to support the community at no charge and we are grateful for their time.
Some of the topics covered so far at The Power Hour Network include…
You can’t succeed in business by yourself – how I built my professional network from The Power Hour Network.
I have mentioned briefly about The Power Hour Network building my own professional network of suppliers and partners. We can all succeed in business with a collaborative approach and I encourage you all to get from within the comfort of your office, your desk or from the glare of the laptop screen and get engaged with networking!
You will meet some incredible people, hear some inspiring stories and learn about marketing development for your business!
Further reading from the 0114 Marketing blog
We are grateful that our contributors to the networking event often also contribute to the marketing blog to help you implement better changes and modern marketing on your business. Here are a couple of useful reads to help you improve your business networking.