In April 2005, Tony Quinn bought the franchise of the Newbury branch of Recognition Express. He expected most of his sales promotion and print business to come from friends and colleagues in the corporate world he had left behind. He was used to dealing with clients such as Courage Beer Company, Diageo, Ferrero and Kerry Foods etc.
He had never heard of networking until he visited an NRG lunch in Reading. He says ‘I entered a whole new world and quickly learnt I had skills that were badly needed by small companies. I offered free advice to fellow networkers on how to promote themselves – or more importantly - how not to!’.
In the first eight months of trading, 100% business came from new contacts made through networking. At the Recognition Express conference in April 2006, Tony’s Newbury franchise won two awards
- the biggest first year turnover of any previous franchise in 27 years
- A milestone turnover award normally achieved in year 2 or 3
Tony likes the NRG formula where you meet people over lunch and learn about them in some depth. He likes being able to search online beforehand to select who he would like to sit next to because certain categories of business make ideal partners. He says ‘I’ve found my networking home and now I’m doing business right on my doorstep with a trusted network of people. Our reputation grows through word of mouth.’