Small Business Networking

By Lynne Hendricks
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Small Business Networking Breakfast's: Imagine What If?

I recently attended a Small Business Networking Breakfast, the first in many years, as they seemed to be on the verge of becoming extinct. This one was intriguing and left us with many interesting questions. One in particular was to ask ourselves, whether or not these meetings were a necessity? The ladies planning this meeting was left with a little dilemma, as the meeting was scheduled on a very significant day in the South African history of 2019, and sadly many of the 35 confirmed participants, who signed up the breakfast, cancelled their attendance leading up to the event, to ensure that they were home or at their designated venues, to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final.

The remaining 23 Small Business owners, who opted to attend the meeting can say with certainty that we do not regret our decision to attend the meeting. As promised the meeting was concluded an hour before the game kicked off, allowing people time to get home to watch the kick off, feeling fulfilled. We not only enjoyed a lovely breakfast, but we were addressed by various speakers, who were all once in the very same position we currently found ourselves in.  The consensus was that Small Businesses are struggling to expand  and grow and one of the contributing factors is the fact the we as owners often doubted or questioned our ability to grow and succeed in our business. 

The guest speaker Alistaire Lategan said it best. He spoke about the various events that are currently happening world wide and how we as Small Businesses fit into these events. The message he posed was structured as a series of questions with the common theme being: “Imagine what if?” These questions include: ‘Image what’s possible if you fully understand: 1. That you have been given very specify time: 2. That you are destined to do this: 3. Do you fully understand that you have been given a gift and that you are that gift.’

‘Imagine that the world in its entirety cannot move forward without you: 1. What are you doing with this season given to you; 2. What are you doing with this calling you have been given; 3. What are you doing with this gift called you? Just imagine if you fully understood and embraced your calling.’ 

He impressed upon us how the world was slowly changing and the fact that many big business were down-sizing, they no longer need the same number of employees to run their business. Like Small Businesses they are fighting to stay afloat and therefore they aren’t likely to consider helping uplift Small Business. We need to understand that we are alone in this fight. 

This change brings with it a revolution, a revolution that requires and expects us, as Small Businesses to take that giant leap of faith and grasp what’s being offered to us. This revolution is current and if we don’t leap, we will miss that one opportunity given to us.  We constantly need to remind ourselves that we, as Small Businesses have a role to play in the economy of this world. 

Like the Spring Boks, those of us who attended the breakfast came away winners. We networked, we discussed resources and we compared skills and services. We got to engage with other like minded entrepreneurs in business, with the same vision and mission as ourselves and some walked away with some lovely sponsored gifts.

Reverting back to the original question: Are Small Business Networking Breakfasts a necessity? The answer received a unanimous yes. We need to inspire, encourage and support each other. We have a common goal and together we can achieve that goal. I am certainly looking forward to the next instalment and the next opportunity to share skills and resources with second time rounders and newcomers alike.  

A big thank you to the ladies who put together this networking breakfast, especially to Zonita Spanneberg from Traject-It and Lisel Engel from Life Support. I salute you for creating a platform for Small Businesses to meet and grow.

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