NRG Synergy Newsletter 41 30 Jan 2006
I heard about NRG by eavesdropping a conversation between the organisation's founders, writes Caroline Palmer. They were excitedly discussing the inaugural lunch in June 2004.
I sensed I was on to a good thing when they told me they'd love to accommodate me at their first meeting, but they were already overbooked! Happily they found some space and squeezed me in.
I was impressed from the start by the streamlined, structured but non-pressurised format of the lunch meeting. The fact that they include an hour's seminar as part of the £20 meeting 'ticket', represents outstanding value for money. I quickly signed up.
As a member, I have the choice of as many meeting venues as I wish per month, and I generally attend at least two. I'm a great believer in networking: building relationships with like-minded people who offer advice, a brain to pick, a sounding board, constructive critiques and so on - oh yes, and compliments too!
I joined NRG because I'd moved to Wiltshire from Surrey and knew very few people in the area. I was also on the lookout for new local suppliers of design, website advice and print - and successfully found all three amongst NRG members. Although I wasn't searching at the time, I also found an editor/broadcaster for my e-newsletter, the inspiration for which came from a presentation at an NRG lunch.
And it's a two-way street. Gains quickly started coming back the other way with people placing orders for some of the natural health products I promote. I have also started doing personal training with clients who are NRG members.
This has more than covered my NRG annual membership as well as most of the lunch meeting costs... although I consider the seminar beforehand as a personal development expense: investing in developing my skills is only going to help me grow my business (as well as being tax-deductible!).
I recommend NRG to everyone I meet who runs their own small business - it's the most cost-efficient way I can imagine of getting to know someone and to learn about their business with a view to my helping them attract new clients, gain knowledge or simply make a new friend.
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