COVID might have thrown Opendoorz a curve ball but we’re not letting it get in the way of ambitious goals!
Way back in our April blog (it feels like a lifetime ago!) we talked about how the announcement of lockdown at the end of March felt like a killer blow. We were left facing the biggest dilemma of our professional lives – how on earth do we take an ENTIRE business model built on regular face to face meetings, where business owners and directors build relationships, develop professionally and exchange business opportunities in a structured format and move it online?
But we did it. 80 members across 7 Opendoorz groups in Oxfordshire and Berkshire, plus a similar number of guests all happily and successfully developing connections, building relationships and growing their personal development ONLINE.
Buoyed by this success we sat down and looked at our original business plan for 2020 which set out some ambitious growth targets. Could we? Dare we? Never ones to shirk a challenge, we decided that we could, actually that we should shoot for those goals. We’d overcome the biggest obstacle we’d faced since launching Opendoorz in 2011, maybe not with ease – it was bloody hard work, but we’d more than just survived, we’d thrived under lockdown.
So, despite the strangest of times and the unplanned but quickly implemented detour into an online business model, we’ve ploughed on with our plans to expand the number of Opendoorz Associate Directors from 2 to 4.
Opendoorz Associate Directors coordinate and drive an Opendoorz group on a day to day and strategic basis. They bring a commitment and energy to each group that helps drive growth in membership numbers as well as shaping the dynamics of the group. They also nurture the development of individual members and ensure that our continuous professional development (CPD) sessions reflect the collective needs and requests of the groups.
Once we decided to go for it, things happened very quickly which is why, only 4 months later, we are delighted to announce that we have had two new Associate Directors join the Opendoorz family; Anneli Thompson of Sandler Training and Phil Saville of CIS.
Anneli and Phil join Jon Ellard of Ellard Outloud and Sebastian Brown of Key Property Investors as Associate Directors to work alongside myself and Cathy as Directors.
Anneli takes the helm at the Cotswolds group and with 8 years Opendoorz membership under her belt she’s well suited to lead the group to greater heights. As an existing member also, Phil will be an expert lead for the Trinity group. Both Anneli and Phil have a natural flair for connecting people as well as a generosity of spirit when it comes to supporting local businesses and charities. They also bring oodles of enthusiasm and dynamism to their groups and to the whole Opendoorz family!
“When Cathy and Sonia approached me regarding the AD role, it seemed a great opportunity to continue to work with all the wonderful members in Opendoorz and also to help grow the group.My plan is to grow the Cotswolds group to 20 over the next two years and be known as the most fun group who also pass a lot of business! No pressure other groups but we, in the Cotswolds group, intend to raise the bar for everyone!” Anneli Thompson, Sandler Training
One of the features of Opendoorz that our guests regularly comment on is how dedicated everyone is to helping each other’s businesses grow and flourish by building strong, professional networks, whether they be Director, Associate Director, Ambassador or Member.
“I was delighted to accept the role of AD in July last year and I have not looked back since. As someone who has networked for the last 17 years, I’ve built up quite a bank of knowledge and expertise. Around a third of my business comes from networking referrals.Moving into an Opendoorz AD role felt like a natural progression of my professional networking and I’m enjoying dedicating more time to not only growing the group but working with members to increase their opportunities given and received.” Jon Ellard, Ellard Outloud
At its heart Opendoorz is aspirational and we surround ourselves with Members and Associate Directors who share that value and who, we like to think, are a little bit special. That’s why chemistry and personality play such key roles in who we invite to join our Opendoorz community – a positive outlook and a desire to help and support one-another in every aspect of business is essential and is what creates the Opendoorz family.
We also emphatically believe that a powerful network is integral to business growth and development and that’s why we put so much emphasis on our members developing powerful and meaningful relationships with quality business owners. It’s one of the reasons why Opendoorz has the high level of respect and reputation that it does within the local business arena.
Anneli and Phil join Jon and Sebastian in leading dynamic, committed and motivated professional networking groups in Oxfordshire. Our strength is in building a trusted and likeable network of introducers, strategic partners, suppliers, mentors and friends, offering expert guidance, inspiration as well as throwing in a huge dose of laughter and fun along the way!
We are not stopping here though! We’re still looking to expand our Opendoorz family, so if you or anyone you know is serious about growing their own business and stepping up to the challenge of building an Opendoorz group we’d like to hear from you. Our Associate Directors all run their own successful businesses so becoming an AD doesn’t just benefit Opendoorz and the group members, it helps strengthen their own professional networks and relationships. It’s a no brainer really!
Why not join us at one of guest meetings? We’d love to welcome you along.