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Meetings held ~ ‘Property & Construction’ at Cheadle House, and North Stockport at the Ash Tea Rooms Heaton Chapel. Contact Rory directly for full group information @

Rory Alkin has been a member of BforB since February 2003, almost 13 years! Rory joined initially at the Cheadle group and is now the local director for South Manchester (Cheadle House) and the Property & Construction group in South Manchester. Chatting to Rory was a pleasure.

“I joined in February 2003 after being invited as a guest. Initially I joined for my role in IT recruitment. When I joined both Mel and John were still running the groups. It was the very early days. I can honestly say BforB changed my career path for the better and life is good”.

  • How did BforB change your career path?

I haven’t had the most interesting career, some would say mundane! Four years ago at a BforB I was introduced to an IFA. During our 1-2-1 and a very interesting discussion my career changed, almost overnight. I am now a business development manager for Catax Business Solutions, which I thoroughly enjoy”

  • So what does Rory like about BforB?

“I’m an avid networker. BforB has just the right amount of informality and structure that makes it work. The groups are not pressurized and very respectful, which to me gives a much better overall experience. It works on a referral basis with emphasis on 1-2-1 meetings outside of the group, which I really enjoy. What I would stress is don’t ignore guests when looking to arrange a 1-2-1! They may not always join but they could still be a great business opportunity for you to tap into. A guest at one meeting (who regrettably didn’t join) went on to give me a substantial amount of business”.

  • What’s the negative for you?

“There is no compulsion on new members to train on networking skills. I think this is why guests don’t always get treated correctly. Networking is a skill and if people aren’t trained they don’t necessarily understand it, or the etiquette. If members were trained in the first couple of months I think the retention rate and sign up of guests would increase”.

Watch this space Rory! We think you’ll be pleased with BforB in 2016

  • We see that you totally advocate bringing guests. How easy it is to bring them?

“When a group is going well people are more inclined to bring a guest. I understand that a busy work life balance puts constraints on focusing on finding guests that would be beneficial to the group, but it’s so important. I do attend other network groups, both socially and for business. Every member is a potential guest for BforB. The question is ask myself is will they fit”?

  • What tips would you give when meeting a new guest, or during a 1-2-1?

“If you’re talking to people listen first! Find out what they do, what they want. By doing this you build up a much better relationship. Don’t treat this as a ‘have to’ part of networking. The person deserves your full attention, respect and consideration. I always ask what contacts they are looking for and then I try to match people up. This builds trust. If you can help someone, and go out of your way to do so, you will gain their respect and trust moving forward”.

Quick fire …

First job?                     “Personal assistant to the MD of a large fertilizer importer in Ireland”.

Favourite meal?          “The company is more important that the food”.   

Finally we asked Rory for a quote

“If you give of yourself in networking it will come back in spades”

Rory Alkin @ Catax Business Solutions

Mel Fisher, Director BforB UK