February/March 2020

Networking in South Manchester

Simon and Win Edmondson are the hosts of The Business Network South Manchester and run the director level networking events every month. Simon is well known on the networking circuit in Manchester and has already hosted meetings for the Federation of Small Businesses, but how did this husband and wife team end up owning their own networking business? Four years ago Simon joined The Business Network as a member and enjoyed the monthly lunches, building up a significant client base from attending, so when the business came up for sale it seemed to make perfect sense to buy it. Starting off with just over 30 members in May 2019, the membership has now grown to nearly 60 in the new year.

How has this happened?
Very simply it has been a couple of factors. Simon is very well connected in Manchester and has brought new members into the group from the SME community. However, he has also managed to bring in larger companies such as CTI Digital and now Bruntwood, who have seen the importance from being part of this growing business community. Simon and Win have also ensured that they have had quality speakers for their pre-lunch seminar with such people as Will Kintish, Cody Gapare, Mike Newman, Jay Allen and Chris Brindley MBE. In fact Chris Brindley has been quoted as saying “it was the best business network he has ever spoken at!”

Although there is a set agenda and the meetings are held in a formal manner, the event is very relaxed and there is always time for a bit of adlibbing along the way. Furthermore, membership could not be simpler, Win’s first objective was to ensure that members don’t have to pay an expensive up-front cost. Instead they pay membership and lunch costs in one easy monthly payment spread over the year.

So what’s next?
The couple’s ambition is to grow the group to at least 90 this year, and with speakers already lined up such as Clive Memmott from The GM Chamber, a magic workshop from resident close up magician Ian Lavin, and the promise of return talks by Will and Chris, the future of the group is looking very bright indeed.

What is the secret to a good networking group?
Simon says it very simple, it’s the members who make the meetings so enjoyable and their desire to work with each other. The lunch is purely the introduction, the hard work is done by the members doing their one to ones and ensuring they make sure Simon and Win know who they are looking for. Finally, the group has just agreed to host a bi-monthly meeting with Bruntwood at Alderley Park, their flag ship business development, and home of some of the most innovative companies in the UK.

Visit: www.business-network-south-manchester.co.uk or call 0161 503 5000