or click here for Member Offers


Meet our member Fiona Mocatta of Copy and Content

Fiona Mocatta


Copy and content writing


My relationships with my clients, writing, getting my head around new projects and the feeling I get when I've cracked a brief


Charge by the project not by the hour (from an established copywriter who I spoke to in 2000 to get some advice before I started freelancing)


"Reading is everything" - Nora Ephron


If someone kindly sends me a KitKat in the post I will eat it immediately. (Thank you!)


I’m proud of being one of the first two people at Comic Relief who were taken on for a six month contract in 1998 and then kept on to work in between Red Nose Days. I stayed until 2003.


"The Producers" by Mel Brooks


"The Bonfire of the Vanities" by Tom Wolfe


I like:

  • Spending time with the people I love
  • Going for walks to get away from the people I love
  • Reading, reading and more reading
  • Eating, eating and more eating (and maybe cooking too sometime)
  • Playing the guitar and singing
  • In recent months, just leaving the house has been quite exciting


BNSH is a supportive community of kind, friendly people who’ve become friends, trusted suppliers, valuable referrers and much-appreciated clients.


"What is one thing that you will change to help you become stronger and more resilient?" - asked our member Yiannis Yianni at the end of this morning's seminar.

"Do something not nothing" Tim Medlycott "Set reasonable goals not far fetched ones" Katie Waite "Be bolder and not worry about whether it will be successful or not" Aarti Varia "Have a 'Good Stuff' board for anything positive happened that day" Caroline Deutsch "Fight the fear a bit more" Emma Ellis "Personal goals - keep up my morning power hour. Professional - stop the procrastination and distraction" Joolz Joseph FCIM "Be more committed to my goals by a discipline plan" Grafton -The Finance Best Man-Barbour "Remain focussed and believe that my effort and attitude determines everything" Ruth Goodmaker

These are just a few of the comments people left in the chat box and it would be great to hear other thoughts in the comments below.

Thank you Yiannis. You packed a lot into half an hour and people clearly took a lot away from the session.


Meet our member Penny Sophocleous of Corporate Alchemy


We provide mentoring programmes that help business owners learn how to consistently gain new clients. They reset and renew their business in the Covid19 context to reclaim their mission, clarify their services and define how these meet their clients' needs. We also provide coaching and development for leaders wishing to develop a presence and standing in the world so they can make a more meaningful, humane impact in the world.


I love working with people - you would not believe how different people are in their diversity of interests, their range of skills and abilities and their concerns to address in their life. But, I also get to engage with people's humanity, which is see is the same in all people - feeling love, wishing to help and support others and keen to go beyond our natural blocks if another's needs require it. People don't realise how magnificent their humanity is, so recognising it and helping people release it from themselves is brilliant!


Take responsibility for your yourself and your business and don't blame others, the economy or external circumstances for how successful you become.


Unto yourself be true.


The power of attraction that you and your business has totally relates to the mission that you have adopted for yourself or your business - if it's small, it will only attract a few people - if it's large and ambitious it will attract many more.


I love dancing - give me music and floor space and I will dance!


Shawshank Redemption


Read, Meditate, Go on learning programmes, take care of my family


I've benefitted by making lots of social and business contacts. Some of whom have become my clients, and some where I have been their clients. There has been lots of give and take, so a strong mutual support environment where all benefit.


Sharon is a good leader and supporter of all the Network's members.


Have you given much thought to data protection and the importance of looking after printed material as we come out of lockdown? Well, if not you should have done!

A huge thank you to our members Dave Elliott of Copy Quality and Alan Hecht of The Business Train for the enlightening seminar they ran for us at our August event. Below are just some of the things I learned. Hopefully these points will draw your attention to things you should be considering. If you have any questions though don’t ask me go straight to them! I'd be happy to facilitate an introduction!

  • PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations), GDPR and Data Protection Act are all interconnected. Some of the things that we think are covered by GDPR may actually be covered by PECR
  • Be on your guard. Cyberattacks have increased 5-fold since lockdown started. The biggest incidence with scammers posing as co-workers sending e-mails with malicious links.
  • The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) has some very helpful and clear advice on their website to help SMEs come out of lockdown including information on data protection self assessment and information on how well you comply with data protection law including
  • 78% of organisations that completed a survey by the ICO did not have secure printing in place meaning that there is a risk of sensitive personal data left at the printer and used inappropriately.
  • Most Managed Print Suppliers can provide a solution to ensure that printing is secure through the use of pin codes, software etc.
  • It’s not just the large companies that can be fined by the ICO. There have been cases where SMEs and even individuals have been fined too.
  • The ICO can force companies to stop trading if they are in breach of the regulations
  • If you’re not compliant you may find that companies who are up-to-date with data protection may want to stop working with you.
  • Marketing people can receive a custodial sentence for continually doing the wrong thing.
  • It is not enough to put the policies in place – they must be adhered to on an ongoing basis.

I think it's clear from all of the above that data protection is not another Y2K flash in the plan. It is here to stay so we need to get used to it and ensure that we comply.


Our first virtual event was a great success with over 50 people booked to attend and replicating the format of our live events as closely as possible.

The virtual events replicate the format of our face to face events as closely as possible with a seminar and Q&A session followed by Zoom breakout rooms where people can successfully network in small groups. Our first event was a great success as you can see from the testimonials below.

“Brilliant value for money”

Howard Salinger, Travel Connection Group

“A great success”

Colin Lock, ThreeR Consulting

“The virtual event showed everyone that online networking can be almost as effective as face to face”

Jackie Giblin, VSL

“You managed to replicate the networking experience well. It was very smooth and chatting to the table was pretty much like when you are together - just easier to hear, so that’s a plus for online 😊

The seminar was clear and easy to understand. While not as interactive as seeing it in person, it was relevant, informative, and as valuable as an ‘in person’ seminar.

Thanks for innovating (and experimenting) to continue this group.

It must also be valuable emotionally to those that are not as fortunate to be fully engaged with work & people in their companies. Especially those going through tough time - business wise and personal”

Amit Wason, CBiz


During these challenging times when we have had to suspend our face-to-face events we are running a series of virtual meetings to keep the group in touch.

During these challenging times when we have had to suspend our face-to-face events we are running a series of virtual meetings to keep the group in touch. The next virtual meetings will be on

  • Monday 6 April at 10am
  • Tuesday 7 April at midday
  • Wednesday 8 April at 2pm

The meetings will last approximately one hour and will give you the chance to share your experiences and challenges and offer or receive support and encouragement from other attendees.

Here is some feedback from the first virtual meeting:

"Just to say thank you for organising and hosting today’s meeting. It was really helpful and (strangely) uplifting to hear people’s suggestions and experiences. A trouble shared….

It was particularly heartening to see how the concept of helping each other, always the ethos of the BNSH group, has gone up a gear when we are all, suddenly, in unknown territory and in need of support, encouragement and advice in a variety of ways. I really believe that, although we are all in for several bumpy months, on a business as well as a personal level, we will come out the other side not only more aware of others’ needs and kinder to each other but professionally stronger, more resourceful and ultimately, more successful. Well, that’s my plan anway!

Thanks again. See you at the next Zoom meeting."

Judie Caunce - Events Plus

To book your place please email me:

There is a limit of 8 attendees per meeting so please get in touch early to avoid disappointment.

August 2017

Thank you to Charlie Ryan of CMR Recruitment for her brilliant seminar on the "Management and Retention of your Employees using DISC Profiling"

Charlie ran a fantastic interactive session that got everyone thinking about how DISC personality profiling can help your business, bring out the best in your team and give you a greater understanding of yourself and your own work style.

A quote from Charlie ""Change one factor at a time, people must be comfortable with who they are at work"

Thank you also to caricaturist Rick Coleman for providing an element of fun during the pre-lunch networking.

This month's quote

"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." 

Babe Ruth

July Event

A great event and a room full of new opportunities with almost 60 senior decision makers in attendance at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club.

Seminar Topic

 "Top Time-Saving Technology Tips and Tricks for Businesses"

Thank you to Francis West of Westtek Solutions for delivering such an informative seminar which people clearly found both interesting and useful.

Francis shared with us a whole range of time-saving technology tips and tricks that you would never be shown in a training course – and they really do work!

"Time is the only thing you can't replace"

As Francis says “40% of your day is a repetition of yesterday and will be repeated again tomorrow. The definition of madness is doing the same thing every day and expecting a different outcome.”

His seminar showed us how to break these patterns and we were all amazed at how much time we can save by adopting a range of tools, most of which are fairly simple and readily available.

Log onto Westtek's YouTube Channel and see for yourself how easy it is to save time - I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

This Month's Quote

"Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark"

March Event

It was great to be back at Beales this month and amazing to see how much the group has grown since we had our launch event there three and a half years ago.

A big thank you to Ursuline Edwards-Sutton of Shine Personal Development for her highly entertaining and informative seminar on “Dress to Impress”.We all learnt that what may initially seem a frivolous subject is actually hugely important in the workplace with first impressions carrying a lot of weight.

If you missed the seminar you might find the following tips from Ursuline helpful:

Personal styling is no longer the domain of the rich and famous, it’s local, it’s affordable and it’s fun.

Create, control and manage your style; project the image you want others to see

Learn how to effortlessly update your look from season to season

Understand the importance of a versatile style: for your personality, budget and life stage

I was delighted to announce at the event thatthat members Jo Hailey of Striking Places and Steve Braden of Braden Threadgold have together launched a new business called Photography 360.And here is their story …

At a Business Network South Herts event late last year, Jo and Steve were chatting, and Jo mentioned that she’d be very keen to try her hand at 360-degree product photography (i.e. to start pointing her camera inwards, rather than the 360-degree location photography which she currently specialises in).

However, there were barriers to entry into this market for her:

- The cost of the specialist equipment required

- The cost and organisation of an associated website, marketing material etc

- The cost and planning / actioning of new branding, marketing campaign etc.

And this is where Steve steps in … Braden Threadgold was coming off the back of a very successful year, which meant that they had some spare funds in the pot. Also, as they specialise in branding, marketing campaigns, website design and production etc.Steve thought ‘Hmmmm - this could be an ideal partnership’. And that is exactly what happened.

To help limit the scope of any marketing campaign, they felt that the jewellery/watch market was an ideal industry to focus on. There didn’t seem to be much competition here, and these are high value items which retailers would be prepared to spend money on to showcase with great photography.

They identified the Jewellery & Watch Exhibition at the Spring Fair as the ideal launch pad, but as that was taking place early in Feb, it put a lot of pressure on them time-wise to get everything off the ground - but somehow they got it all together.

The exhibition was a huge success – they were overwhelmed at the interest they received at their stand. Since then, they’ve faced what Steve terms ‘nice challenges’ - but challenges nonetheless - in that they had so many leads and were both so busy with their core businesses that they’ve struggled to keep on top of everything. So, the business is moving forward slower than they perhaps would have liked, but they still feel very positive that they’ve found a great niche market and they’ve got everything in place to move forward successfully.

So I’m proud to say that Photography 360 came about directly as a result of a connection made at The Business Network South Herts.

It was also a pleasure to share another Good News story with the group.

Josh Sacofsky who launched Belvoir, a Sales & Lettings Agency almost exactly a year ago was awarded Silver medal for New Franchise of the Year in the Belvoir Annual Awards Ceremony last week.So congratulations to Josh and Adrienne of Belvoir Hendon.

Quote of the month

“One thing is certain in business: you will make mistakes. When you are pushing the boundaries, mistakes are inevitable – how you react is important”

Richard Branson

February Event

We were thrilled to be meeting at The Holiday Inn London – Elstree for the first time this month. They pulled out all the stops and we really enjoyed being there.

A big thank you to Martin Munro of The Alternative Board for his excellent seminar entitled “Timeless Principles of Exceptional Business”.

If you missed the seminar you might find the following tips from Martin helpful:

1.Know your competitors and identify the signature element of your own offering

2.Identify your platinum activities and create a “To Don’t” list

3.Don’t work below your pay grade

4.Build a business that can be sold when and to whom you want to sell

One of things that people consistently comment on after visiting the group is how friendly and welcoming it is and I believe that stems from the collaborative mind-set amongst members. What better way to illustrate this point than the launch of a new business.

I was delighted to announce at the event that Business Network South Herts members Mark Sacofsky and Hayley Grigor together with Daley Thompson, the British Decathlete who won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, have just launched Daley5Minutes, a fitness & wellbeing website. Daley5Minutes can help you improve your fitness in 5 minute bursts. There are a series of fitness videos (filmed, of course, by members Dave Foulkes and Ed Lawrence of The Business Film Booth) of different levelsdesigned to work muscle groups and improve cardio fitness by working out correctly and effectively. And the best thing is - you can do this in just 5 minutes a day without even leaving your home.

As they say the exercise routines may not add years to your life but they will add life to your years and above all, make exercise fun!

So wishing Daley5minutes every success and may it go from strength to strength.

Quote of the month

“It’s amazing what doors can open if you reach out to people with a smile, a friendly attitude and a desire to make a positive impact.”Richard Branson

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther-King

January Event

How lucky we were to enjoy the stunning Winter Wonderland setting of Moor Park Golf Club for our January event.

A big thank you to Richard Gilbert and Barry Griffin of Debenhams Ottaway Solicitors who delivered a very well-received seminar entitled “ Mind Your Business - Relationships, Estate Planning and your business”

If you missed the seminar you might find the following tips useful.

1 Cohabiting unmarried couples should consider entering into a Living Together Agreement

2 Aim to “consciously uncouple” with dignity!

3 If you are over 18 then you need a Will

4 Make a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you are well enough to do so

Quote of the month

“It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” Hugh Laurie

Christmas Event

Our December event successfully combined the festive atmosphere of a Christmas lunch with our usual business-focussed networking. The room at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club looked wonderful – complete with Christmas trees, sparkly tablecloths and crackers.

Those who dared wore hats and read out dreadful jokes.

A massive vote of thanks to the amazing generosity of members and guests for their donations to our Christmas Raffle which enabled us to raise £500 for Herts Young Homeless, our member Charity.

Thanks must also go to Lorraine Sarsby of Bushey Promotions for giving everyone a lovely Christmas present and to Rick Coleman for entertaining us with his fantastic digital caricatures. Everyone who attended left with a Mouse Mat showing the dates of our 2017 events – so no excuse now for forgetting when the next one is.

A big thank you also to Pippa Hutchinson and Jonathan Lane whose seminar “Six Steps to Business Happiness” was very well received. During the course of the seminar they helped participants test where their business is doing well but also, just as importantly, understand what areas they might need to develop.

If you missed the seminar you might want to use the pointers below to start thinking about your own business.

1 How well is your business really doing? And do you actually know?

2 Where are your strengths and weaknesses? What risks do you need to manage?

3 What is your preferred approach to running your business? Are you naturally a Harrods, a Waitrose, an Asda or an Aldi?

4 What is your ultimate ambition for your business?

Quote of the month

“To be successful, you have to be out there. You have to hit the ground running and if you have a good team around you, and more than a fair share of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can't guarantee it just by following someone else's formula."

Richard Branson

November Event

What a wonderful event we had at Beales Hotel with almost 60 people in attendance.

A big thank you to Laura Lewis of Chameleon HR and Caroline Deutsch of Select Appointments who shared their knowledge and expertise with us in the pre-lunch seminar entitled “How to Recruit Good People and Keep them”.They covered key areas such as candidate attraction, selection and the induction process.

If you missed the seminar pick up their top tips below:

1 Understand the power of your Employer Brand to help you to stand out from the crowd in a competitive job-seekers’ market

2 Use the advert as a way of attracting candidates and the job description to tell them more about the tasks of the job

3 Never, ever interview on your own, and make sure you use a measurable process

4 Keep in touch with your candidate whilst they’re working their notice period with their current employer.

Quote of the month

“I’ve failed more times than I can count.

I’ve failed publicly.

I’ve failed privately.

I’ve failed in blazing ball of humiliation.

I’ve failed my friends.

I’ve failed my family.

I’ve failed in my business.

And I’ve failed myself.

But over a decade as an entrepreneur has taught me that failure isn’t the end.

It’s only the end if I decide to not try again.

If I get up, dust myself off, and continue moving forward, I didn’t fail.


Jasmine Star


We had another excellent event with well over 50 companies in attendance. The buzz in the room was tangible as new connections were made and old ones re-established.

A huge vote of thanks must go to Sue Benoke of LMI-UK for her excellent seminar on “The Power of Goal Setting”. It went down so well that she received a spontaneous round of applause during lunch!

As Sue says… without clear written goals our hopes and aspirations are just pie in the sky. But how do we get really clear about our goals and how do we go about turning them into reality so that everything we do is working towards achieving those all important goals? Sue’s seminar provided a short introduction to goal setting with some tips and tricks to make sure we stay on track achieve and achieve great success.

If you missed the seminar here are some pointers from Sue to get you thinking about goal setting:

1. Success is the progressive realisation of worthwhile, pre-determined, personal goals.

2. What do you want?Why do you want it? Why don’t you have it already?

3. Goal setting is the key to all fulfilment and achievement.

4. You are what your controlling thoughts allow you to be.

Quote of the month

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your mind. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

September Event

The sun shone gloriously and on one of the hottest September days on record we were able to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings at Moor Park Golf Club and networked in the sunshine.

Thank you to Fiona Gustafson of FionaVitality for her hugely informative seminar on “Osteoporosis – the Silent Epidemic (and how it relates to the Six Week Reset Programme).

Fiona has been studying wellness and nutrition for over 17 years and, over that time, has changed her daily habits to improve her health, energy levels and mental focus, and to reduce her risk of degenerative disease as she gets older.She shared her story with us and gave us practical tips and suggestions as to how we can do the same. She did a great job on imparting a great deal of important information and a lively Q&A Session followed.

If you missed Fiona’s seminar here are her top tips:

1Learn what osteoporosis is

2Find out whether you may be at risk

3Learn some simple daily habits to reduce your risk

Quote of the month

“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes and encourage them in their pursuits.When we all help one another everybody wins”

Jim Stovall, Motivational Speaker and Author

A Wonderful Coincidence

Our member Fiona Gustafson first visited Moor Park Golf Club for the Business Network South Herts event in October 2014. She had no idea that that was where they had planned Operation Market Garden, the Battle of Arnhem.

Her father was Medical Officer there and she was so moved to actually be in the beautiful Arnhem Room that as a result of this she offered a section of his parachute for the Club to display as part of their collection of memorabilia. This was presented to them in June 2016.


August Event

Blue skies and sunshine were on order for our August event and we got just what we wanted. Perfect for a number of happy members and guests who took advantage of a free round of golf after the event, kindly arranged by Aldwickbury Park Golf Club.

Thank you to Alan Hecht of Cloud Focus whose seminar “IT in the workplace – where we’ve been and where we’re going” was particularly well-received thanks in part to the fun element he introduced in the form of a quiz.

If you missed the seminar here are Alan’s top tips:

  • IT on the move is here now
  • Be careful of which emails you open
  • Take ownership of your IT
  • Keep it simple

Quote of the month

““I’ve come to believe that connecting is one of the most important business—and life—skill sets you’ll ever learn. Why? Because, flat out, people do business with people they know and like.” Keith Ferazzi

July Event

With over 60 people booked on and lots of new faces, the July event was a very successful one.

A big thank you goes to Julie Joseph, The Virtual Marketeer who delivered a highly informative seminar on “Email Marketing – the Big Questions” to an audience of almost 40.

For those of you who missed the seminar Julie’s top tips are:

  • Start with the data – what you have and what you want.
  • Consider what value an email address holds for your business.
  • Why do people want to hear from you, what value do you give?
  • Start somewhere – or you’ll go nowhere!

Quote of the month

“Change is the law of life.And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” John F Kennedy

June Event

It was wonderful to welcome so many new members and visitors to our June event.

A huge thank you to Phil Cobley for presenting a fantastic seminar entitled "Modern Day Policing and the Cyber Crime Threat". 

Phil is a Sergeant in Bedfordshire Police, currently seconded to the Regional Cyber Crime Unit responsible for the East of England and he kindly came and gave a highly informative presentation on the types of cyber crime threat that are out there and the real life dangers that exist. He spoke about what policing is doing to change the way it works and thinks in order to tackle those threats and he then gave some simple tips and tricks to mitigate some of the most common threats.

If you missed the seminar Phil's top tips are:

1 – Make sure you regularly backup all of your data 

2 – Always use strong passwords to protect your devices and accounts

3 – Regularly update and patch your software to protect against the latest exploits

4 – Regularly scan your devices and files with good, up-to-date security software

Quote of the month

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

May Event

We all enjoyed the magnificent surroundings and the wonderful food at Moor Park Golf Club at our May event.

A huge thank you to Penny Sophocleous of Corporate Alchemy for her excellent seminar on "Enlightened leaders – leveraging people and their talents"

For those of you who missed the seminar, Penny's top tips are:

  • Look for, recognise and validate your people’s innate talents and gifts
  • Empower your people by asking for their ideas and input on problems you’re handling
  • Allow your people to own an issue or problem they’re handling and let them deal with it completely.

Quote of the month

“Networking is simply the cultivating of mutually beneficial, give and take, win-win relationships. It works best, however, when emphasizing the ‘give’ part.” Bob Burg

April Event

The April event was a great success, as always, with nearly 60 people in attendance.

Richard Perry delivered a well-received and informative seminar on “How to grow a business that works without you” and feedback on this was excellent.

Following on from the seminar Richard’s top tips are:

  • Have a well-defined plan that you review each quarter
  • Reveiw your KPIs regularly to keep you on track
  • Remember 'busyness' does not always mean you have a 'business'

It was also wonderful to share a perfect example of the collaborative nature and generous spirit within the group whereby Julia Sterland, a talented artist and member of our group, very kindly donated four days of her time to help at a Marie Curie event at the NEC in Birmingham. Not only did Julia give up her time for free, she also spent 3 ½ days painting portraits for donations to Marie Curie.

As a result, not only did Marie Curie receive a great deal of extra interest in their stand but also donations equivalent to over 3 overnight nursing shifts which will make a real difference to the lives of those their nurses look after.

And how lucky we were that the sun shone and the pre-lunch reception took place on the terrace overlooking the pond and the golf course at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club!

Quote of the month

“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."Ken Blanchard

March Event

Our March event took us back to the splendour of the Mansion House at Moor Park Golf Club.

John Kerr of Your Partner in Property ran an excellent seminar on “How to gain financial independence through the property route”.He shared with us various tips and strategies including

  • What is going to happen in the property market?
  • Five Golden Rules to Property Investing.
  • What NOT to buy. 
  • What to look for when you invest.
  • The Importance of having a strategy that meets your personal goals.

After a highly informative Q & A session he was delighted to receive excellent feedback from an audience of almost 30 people.

We were treated during the pre-lunch reception to musical entertainment by our member musicians, sisters Charlotte and Heather Sterland.

Lunch took place in the fabulous Main Dining Room as we had outgrown the room we usually use.

Quote of the month

“If someone offers you an incredible opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” Richard Branson

February Event

What a lovely warm welcome we had from Beales Hotel who hosted our February event yesterday.

Thanks are due to Farida Braza of Sagegreen HR, a self-confessed HR geek, who delivered a brilliant seminar on The Employee Life Cycle and ROI.

As Farida says, many people have little understanding of HR and how it contributes to the bottom line of businesses. Most people think it’s just hiring or firing.In reality it is so much more than that and if certain processes aren’t assessed and carried out correctly things can backfire and cost business time money and peace of mind.

Farida took us through how at each stage you can ensure you get the right people, with the right skill at the right time and keep them. She showed us how to get the best out of them to achieve our business goals and objectives and make sure we get value for money (a Return on the Investment of time, money and sleepless nights) and how to measure this.

Quote of the month

"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” Henry Ford

January Event

Another great event this week with 60 booked on including 14 visitors, so a wealth of new opportunities.

Aldwickbury Park Golf Club looked absolutely magnificent as we watched the frosty white golf course and frozen lake change slowly to green during the course of the morning.

Our member caricaturist Rick Coleman provided an element of fun with his caricatures which people were delighted with.

Hayley Grigor of Gain Momentum together with Sue Benoke of LMI ran a brilliant seminar with the room full to capacity. Having posed various questions … Would you like to get more done in less time? Do you spend more time working in your business rather than on it? Do you know what you should be doing, but just don't get it done? Do you wish there were more hours in the day? … they addressed these issues and gave attendees lots of tips, tricks and new habits to help transform their working lives, making them more productive and therefore more profitable.
Feedback was brilliant and they are now fielding several enquiries for their half day workshop on “Effective Work Habits”

See what our members and visitors had to say:

  • “Another excellent meeting yesterday – thanks Sharon. I love the positive vibe at the lunches and seeing the transformation from the look on a newcomer’s face from “rabbit in the headlights” to “hmm, this isn’t so bad after all”!” – Judie Caunce, Events Plus
  • “Thanks for the events yesterday. I was impressed with the quality of the seminar, the calibre of the attendees and your organisation of the whole thing” - Andrew James, OnHand Counsel

Quotes of the month

“It’s amazing what doors can open if you reach out to people with a smile, friendly attitude and a desire to make a positive impact.” 

Richard Branson

“If you can’t fly, then run,
If you can’t run, then walk,
If you can’t walk, then crawl,
But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” 

Martin Luther King, Jnr

Success Story

Read this blog to see the ripple effect of networking

As we know networking is not about the people in the room.  It's about who they're connected to.  Read this blog to see how our member Jo Hailey benefited from somebody else's connections

Dahlia Fields

December Event

What a great way to end the year. We followed our usual business-focussed format but added a few extra touches to create a festive atmosphere which was enjoyed by all. Pre-lunch drinks were taken in the shadow of the enormous and beautifully decorated C

Heather and Julia Sterland provided some wonderful musical entertainment and Rick Coleman added to the festivities by drawing caricatures on his iPad of our members and guests who received their look-alikes by email after the event.

Ishreen Bradley of Bizas ran a brilliant seminar entitled “Your Business Plan on a Postage Stamp” which was an opportunity for all those who attended to explore their business goals for the new year and develop a simple visual structure for delivering on those goals.It was delivered in a fun and interactive workshop style and everyone left with a practical plan and an uplifted sense of inspiration about their business.

And a huge thank you to everyone who took part in our Christmas raffle which enabled us to raise £300 each for our member charities Marie Curie and Herts Young Homeless.

Quote of the month 

“20 years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one’s you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

November Event

And the winner was ….Lorraine Sarsby of Bushey Promotions.

Using short film and lots of audience interaction, Dave Foulkes and Ed Lawrence of Business Film Booth demonstrated how you can build an unfair advantage over your competition. Lorraine then took to the stage and proved that even the uninitiated and terrified can produce a video for promotional purposes.

Quote of the month

“If you can dream it you can achieve it; you will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want”

October Event

Another successful event in October with over 60 people booked on, and lots of introductions and new connections being made.

Hayley Grigor of Intergage delivered a brilliant seminar on The Marketing Journey – an interactive, session that got people thinking about their own businesses and helping them identify some of the areas they need to work on to improve their own marketing strategies. Great feedback was given by all who attended.

People carried on networking long after the event finished and those who were brave enough even ventured into the Business Film Booth to see how easy it is to talk to the camera …

And more from Business Film Booth next month when Dave Foulkes and Ed Lawrence will be using short film and lots of audience interaction to unpack how you can build an unfair advantage over your competition. They will be showing you how to create a clone that will do most of your work for you.And one lucky participant will be cloned live and receive a free video worth £380.

Quote of the month

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there”

September Event

Although the weather wasn’t quite warm enough to network on the terrace outside, we were still able to enjoy the beautiful views at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club for our September event.

Jane Scroggs of Winchmore Legal Services, who specialises in Estate Planning and is a Barrister's Intermediary for the Legal Services Guild, added real value to the event by delivering an informative seminar entitled “Wills, Tax Bills and Bellyaches”.

She demonstrated how putting the right legacy planning in place minimises the financial burden for you and your beneficiaries, and highlighted the potential pitfalls which risk your family's disinheritance.She was also able to show Business Owners the benefits of having an estate plan to protect business assets should a business partner become incapacitated or pass away.

Lots of questions were asked and answered and all those who attended left feeling much better informed.

And once again several members carried on networking after lunch by taking advantage of the generous offer of a free round of golf.

Quotes from this month

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.” Michael Jordan

““It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” Hugh Laurie

August Event

We were delighted to be back in the sumptuous surroundings of Moor Park Golf Club for our August event. And although we missed some of our regular members who were relaxing in sunnier climes we still had a great attendance.

Our member, Julia Sterland, who is an artist but in a previous life worked for 15 years as a GP, shared a personal view of health and wellbeing in the pre-lunch seminar.We all know what we should do to lead a healthy lifestyle. But why do we find it so hard to do it? Because habits are hard to change.Julia told us how she has managed to change habits and how she hopes she will never stop changing them!

She looked at why you can’t afford to rely on the medical profession and why you need to take charge of your physical and mental health.

After the event we saw what an accomplished artist she is when she painted a portrait of one of our members in less than an hour.The likeness was truly remarkable.

And as an added bonus the offer of a free round of golf on this prestigious course was taken up by 10 people.

Quotes from this month

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  Helen Keller  

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."George Bernard Shaw

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do." Jung

“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.” Henry Ford

July Event

Another excellent event in July with a great turn-out, including several new companies, despite the start of the summer holidays.

Ursuline Edwards-Sutton of Modus Operandi delivered a brilliant interactive seminar on "Big Brands to Personal Brands", the key message being that people are at the heart of every business and are the single strongest differentiator for any service business. Pitched just right to have relevance to those who (think they) know all about branding and those looking at their business from their clients' point of view for the first time.  Everyone in the room took at least one pearl of wisdom from this excellent session.

After lunch members and visitors were invited to try their hand at presenting their business on video with help from our new member Dave Foulkes of Business Film Booth.  Dave's incredible knack of putting people at ease in front of the camera meant that even those who are camera shy dared to have a go!

This month's quote

“People do business with people because they choose to not because they have to.We can always find others doing the same thing or offering the same product, it’s the personal connection that makes the difference.”

June Event

What a buzz there was in the room with so many members and visitors eager to take advantage of the excellent networking opportunities available.

Penny Sophocleous of Corporate Alchemy ran an excellent interactive seminar which introduced participants to Talent Dynamics and how it can be used as a successful business development tool.

Member Robert Roope of Black Eyewear attended hot on the heels of the London Collections Men, an event organised by The British Fashion Council, following the showcasing of his iconic Eyewear collection  in the Selfridges window.  Congratulations Robert!

Members were also thrilled to hear that we came Runner Up in the Networking Group of the Year category in the FSB Hertfordshire Business Awards 2015.

This month's quotes

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do”. Jung

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails.Explore, Dream, Discover.” Mark Twain

May Event - The Business Network: Networking Success

May saw us back at Beales Hotel with the opportunity to welcome lots of new members and to hear an information-packed seminar on franchising by David Shimwell of Sagegreen HR.

There was, as always, an abundance of excellent networking opportunities and it's amazing how much more we get out of conversations with other people when we work hard at listening to what other people are saying.  As Steven Covey points out  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”.

It was great to be able to share the networking successes of Q Office Furniture who listed all the business they had conducted with other members and visitors since our last event including a fabulous furniture installation and details of various quotes, referrals and purchases that they made. So it’s wonderful to see that the Business Network South Herts really does work.

And we finished with a quote by Maya Angelou which reinforces the very essence of networking and building relationships:

This month's quote

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

Shortlisted for Networking Group of the Year

We are thrilled and excited to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Networking Group of the Year in the FSB Hertfordshire Business Awards 2015. We would like to thank all of our members for the continued support and enthusiastic participation

There are so many reasons why members and visitors enjoy our events.  Here are just a few:

Our professional approach and attention to detail creates a relaxed yet business-focussed atmosphere and our unique event format allows for a mix of formal and informal networking.

The majority of our attendees are senior decision makers who are able to influence the buying and selling within their organisations. This links with our ethos of relationship building rather than selling.

Our free educational seminars are delivered each month by members allowing them to raise the profile of their company and provide unique training sessions to those who attend. Due to the wealth of knowledge and experience within the group the seminars cover a wide range of topics.

All visitors receive a welcome call to help them plan for and gain maximum benefit from the event. They are advised of the event format, giving them the opportunity to prepare in advance the brief presentation about their company they will make to those seated at their table.

The table plan is prepared in advance using our unique table management software which guarantees a balanced mix of business categories at each table and can accommodate seating requests. This ensures the networking is not left to chance.

Post event follow-up takes place the next day with the distribution of the table plan and an invitation to visitors to apply for membership.

We offer a truly personal and professional service. One-to-one meetings with members are arranged to gain an understanding of their business and of their ideal outcome of membership. Ways in which they can maximize their membership are also discussed.

We recognise that networking doesn't come naturally to everyone. During the events tips and strategies to improve networking skills are shared together with motivational quotes to maintain a business focus.

We consistently have around 45/55 attendees at our events and this number is growing month on month. There are always new companies in attendance allowing for a constant stream of new potential clients and buying opportunities as well as access to new insights and knowledge.

The benefits of membership are many and varied and include free educational seminars, access to the national database of members, member offers, and the option of bringing a guest free of charge (if the necessary criteria are met).

In order to tailor and refine the service to better meet member needs, feedback is requested from visitors, members and exiting members and acted upon whenever appropriate.

And finally - here is a testimonial from one of our members:

"Sharon runs a thoroughly professional outfit at The Business Network - but I don't mean professional as in stuffy, austere and pressured. Rather, it has been from the first an extremely welcoming environment where everyone's knowledge and expertise is respected and the emphasis is on quality relationships. As the meetings occur regularly (accompanied by some fine food and in some beautiful locations) we get to, in Sharon's words "know, like and trust" each other - surely a prerequisite for any sort of friendship or business relationship to blossom.

I particularly like the way Sharon manages to make everyone feel included - always with half an eye on the room to make sure of this. If Carlsberg did hostesses......It's lovely to talk business in such a convivial environment and we have already formed some valuable connections which will drive our business forward - almost all of these would not have occurred in the normal course of events so it's a definite win-win situation. Follow-up from Sharon is also excellent - it's clear she takes great pride in the service she provides. Thank you"

April Event – Oscars await!

The sun shone brightly and members and guests commented on the splendour of the surroundings as they poured in through the doors of the Moor Park Mansion, eagerly awaiting the launch of not one, but two, Business Network South Herts videos.

Thanks to our member Reg Clarke of Fine Claret Media you can now get a flavour of our events and hear what members and guests are saying about us from the comfort of your home/office. Our caricaturist member, Rick Coleman, has produced a light-hearted animated video showing the benefits of membership which brought a smile to everyone's face.

With over 60 people booked on - and a third of those visitors - there were plenty of new opportunities for all who attended. And you could feel the buzz in the room.

Jay Surti of Effective Business Communication delivered a brilliant interactive seminar on how to use presentations to win more customers which was really well-received. Everyone there took away with them a whole new toolkit of tips and strategies to enhance their future presentations.

This month's quote

"It's not about what you know, nor is it about who you know... It's about how well you know those you know."

March Event

It was a real pleasure to welcome such an abundance of new faces to our March event at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club.

The networking opportunities were many and varied with members commenting on the new possibilities opened up by the attendance of so many visitors.

The Heartmath seminar was as fascinating as expected. The packed audience discovered that HeartMath is simple to learn, practical to do and scientifically proven to be very, very effective. By the end of the seminar they had learnt a deceptively simple breathing exercise, that can be done anywhere with their eyes open, to immediately transform the negative effects of stress.

The seminar was followed by a room full of stress-free people who enjoyed a delicious lunch.However, despite their newly relaxed state all attendees managed to maintain a business focus and left the event with lots of new contacts to follow up.

This month's quote

"Do not judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant" Robert Louis Stevenson

February at Moor Park Golf Club

Another great event was held in the sumptuous surroundings of The Mansion House at Moor Park Golf Club.

We started with a brilliant seminar by Brian Light of Pharoscoach who explained how coaching can lead to lasting and long-term improvement in Leadership capabilities.Lots of positive feedback was given by all who were there.

This was followed by an exquisite lunch with a room full of like-minded people sharing ideas and opportunities and tapping into the amazing collective wisdom* of the group.

A particularly exciting event for us as it was being filmed by Reg Clarke of Fine Claret Media for a promotional video.So watch this space ..

To grab your 15 minutes of fame, join us at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club in Harpenden on 18th March where the filming will continue.See you there.

This month's quote

"None of us is as smart as all of us – tap into the collective wisdom"  Japanese Proverb

January Event – Happy New Networking

We really are extremely lucky to have a choice of such beautiful venues for our events.

This was our first time at Sopwell House and not only did it live up to our expectations – it easily surpassed them. Delicious food + a wonderful setting + the usual high calibre of members and visitors = an excellent networking event.

We were privileged and excited to be amongst the first to view the newly published book written by Sue Whiting and illustrated by Rick Coleman.Sue and Rick kindly donated a copy for our prize draw and everyone else was delighted to be offered a signed copy at a discounted price.

A brilliant seminar by David Griffiths looked at whether it is possible to make a real impact on our long-term health with our diet. This sparked off a lively discussion and a series of interesting questions which David answered with his usual effortless clarity.

This month's quote

“Networking is simply the cultivating of mutually beneficial, give and take, win-win relationships. It works best, however, when emphasizing the ‘give’ part.” Bob Burg

Christmas Event - A Great Finish to the Year

"What a fabulous event" said one of our guests as she was leaving and it really was. A great buzz in the room, lots of new faces and as usual some excellent networking opportunities.

Richard Hagen from mPowr Publishing shared some insider tips from the publishing world and helped all those present improve the clarity, quality and impact of their business's message.

Thank you to our members for donating such wonderful prizes for our charity prize draw and thank you to everyone for their amazing generosity.  We were thrilled to have raised £450 for our member charity Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Wishing everyone Seasons Greetings and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year and looking forward to sharing good times in 2015.

This month's quote

"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your mind. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Birthday Business Network South Herts

Our First Birthday event at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club in Harpenden on Wednesday 19th November was particularly well-received. As always there was a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the room and it was great to see so many new connections being made.

In her interactive seminar before lunch, Sue Cohen shared her experiences of carrying out some recent market research which was both insightful and informative. It was particularly interesting to hear how she took advantage of her members' access to the National Business Network Database and was able to work with people that she would otherwise not have been able to contact.

The Hospitality and Catering students from Oaklands College got the opportunity to showcase their talents by baking delicious pink-frosted cupcakes which were enjoyed by all!

And who said that only children like receiving "going home" presents? Each attendee was delighted to leave with their very own Business Network South Herts business card holder.

This month's quote

“People do business with people because they choose to not because they have to.We can always find others doing the same thing or offering the same product, it’s the personal connection that makes the difference.”

Come and join us at


Wednesday 12th May


What members and guests say

"Sharon, I can honestly say that your Business Networking Group has helped my business enormously! From day one of joining (year & half ago) everyone was and continues to be so kind and welcoming! I have said this before and will continue to say, the group only works because its run by someone who absolutely cares about every single one of its members and gives 110% always!! Thanks Sharon, You're the best!"

Benny Wagner
Risk Reports

"I've been a member of The Business Network South Herts for over a year now and just recently renewed my membership for another year. The monthly networking meetings are a great place to meet like minded local business people and the seminars i've attended have been interesting and informative. I always take away one tip if not more to improve my business. During lockdown the group has really come into its own as Sharon has continued with the meetings via zoom even introducing break out meetings which means that despite working from home i have been able to continue networking. This has been something i've looked forward to as it doesn't actually feel that different to when we used to meet at venues. In fact i always leave the zoom meetings feeling motivated and re-energised to work on my business."

Helen Patterson
JHP Electrical