Oldham & Rochdale ~ Friday, Bi-weekly ~ 7.00 a.m ~ 9.00 a.m.
Email : email@example.com for invite.
Derek has been a member of BforB since February 2013. Another member who liked the format and of course the business referrals that being a member has generated. When we spoke to Derek he said there were 3 specific things that make it work for him.
“In general I like to meet people and so I enjoy the groups, but for me they work in three ways:-
- Networking with a group of likeminded business owners, where you can refer business and know that they will look after you and your clients. For me as an accountant my primary referrals come from IFA and mortgage advisors. As an accountant business I attract is recurring income so I am continually building my client portfolio.
- I get to meet people from other industries and walks of life. The experience people bring to the table is invaluable. If I need some advice on mortgages or IT for example I have people in the room who will give unbiased advice and are happy to discuss and bounce ideas round the room.
- BforB gives me an added value service for my clients. I’m always being asked if I can recommend a business. Because I’m a member of BforB and know these people I can easily refer them to my clients knowing they will give a great service. I get a lot of clients thanking me for a great referral. In helping them it helps me build on my client relationships.
- We love the fact that BforB members get so much more from the meetings. How about bringing guests?
“It is difficult. Within each group the members build up a culture and a bond. Rather than just invite anyone who will call in, we want to actively find people who will fit in and genuinely benefit from being a member. We want people to be involved long term. They also have to like our sense of humour!”
- Is there any specific areas you’re looking for now?
“We have around 12 /13 members and it’s a fantastic group. The gap for me right now is an IFA. Other than this I’d like to see some contractors join, painter and decorator, plumber, electrician etc. I currently have a decorating job at home and finding the right person isn’t easy”.
- What’s your biggest business challenge?
“Keeping up to speed with developments on taxation rules. The Government are changing things dramatically. They’re talking about people doing quarterly tax returns on line themselves!
- And your career high?
“Being the Finance Director of a quoted financial services group and being involved in the documentation and floatation in 2000. Also I was F.D. at Cater Allen Bank in their offshore division and lived in Jersey; great times”.
Quick fire round …..
First job? “Articled clerk for a firm of accountants”.
First car? “Triumph Herald 1250”
Dream car? “Lamborghini ~ white”
Finally we asked Derek for a quote
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”
Derek Ashford @ Ashford & Co Chartered Accountants
Mel Fisher, Director BforB UK