There’s a buzz amongst business owners in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire at the moment and it’s all to do with some very exciting news…Opendoorz is coming to town!
For well over a decade Opendoorz has honed a winning formula for professional networking across Oxfordshire and created a community of business owners, directors and entrepreneurs that has a phenomenal track record of not only passing business but providing support, knowledge and professional development. There are currently ten Opendoorz groups across Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire with well over 100 members and we’re about to embark on a new adventure in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire with new groups set to launch in Newbury and Marlow. Excited doesn’t even come close to how we feel!
It’s a tried and tested formula that puts great emphasis on facilitating our members to develop their professional relationships and really get to know each other. One on one insight meetings, showcases, continuous professional development sessions and creating a trusted space for open and honest discussion are all part of the regular structure of Opendooz and one of the reasons our members stay with us for such a long time.
The other reason we have such a large and devoted membership is that Opendoorz makes good business sense. Creating those trusted relationships and being part of a community makes it easy to refer and recommend and our members share well over £2m a year of business between them.
Of course, there is another very compelling reason that our members tell us makes Opendoorz such a great group to be part of and that’s the drink at the bar after every meeting! It might sound frivolous (and we certainly do like to have fun!) but it’s also where friendships are made, relationships cemented and trust built. All over a glass of beer or wine – what’s not to love?!
So, what can Newbury and Marlow expect?
Well, they both have thriving business communities in and around them and yet aren’t well-served in terms of high-calibre professional networking. We saw a gap to bring the buzz of Opendoorz to the two areas and jumped on it!
Our Opendoorz groups are largely run by Associate Directors who’s job it is to encourage, motivate and inspire the groups through the structured meetings but also through wider social interactions to really bond and get to know each other. We’re a little bit selective about who joins Opendoorz, we’re not just looking for proven business track record, we also want our members to be generous with their time and knowledge, open and honest in their interactions and above all have a sense of fun and a positive energy.
The task of setting up and growing the new networking groups in Marlow and Newbury falls to two very experienced Opendoorz Associate Directors, who’ve also been long-standing members – Jim Gettings in Newbury and Sam Farmer in Marlow.
Obviously, our brief for an AD is dashing, charming and brilliantly clever, but Jim and Sam are also natural networkers as well as understanding the values and purpose of Opendoorz inside and out.
We asked both of them why they feel Opendoorz is the best professional networking in Oxfordshire – and now Buckinghamshire and Berkshire?!!
Sam told us. “Opendoorz has been successful for me and my business, this is a new avenue to continue that successful relationship. When I look back at my stats:- the introducers, the relationships with clients and suppliers – so much of it has come from Opendoorz. If something works, surely you should do more of it?”
Jim is already an Associate Director at the Cotswolds Opendoorz group, he told us: ‘I took over as Associate Director at the Cotswolds group after being a member for five years. It was a new challenge but one I really relished. Like Sam, I know Opendoorz so well and it’s given me and my business so much in terms of development, knowledge and business. I massively believe in the power of Opendoorz networking and want to share that knowledge. Setting up a new group in Newbury is incredibly exciting (not too mention hard work!) but I know the benefit that’s on offer and it’s a message I just have to share.’
So what kind of businesses are they looking for to join the new groups?
‘We launch a group when we’ve got 8 founder members and then work to grow the group to a maximum of 20’ says Jim. ‘It’s all about getting the right blend of people and businesses in the room. We aim for a good blend of professional services, marketing/creative, tech and property businesses. Right now, we’ve got 7 founder members for the Newbury group and I’m looking for an energetic, upbeat accountant to help us kick off on the right foot.’
Sam on the other hand is looking for creatives to complete his founding members group. ‘We’ve got a phenomenal line up of professional services and property experts, everything from accountants to interior designers. I’m now looking for digital marketing, web developers and an architect to complete my dream team!’
What can people expect from the groups?
Sam says, ‘Opendoorz is not like other networking groups. In fact, I’d even say it’s not really a ‘networking’ group in the sense that most people understand them. It’s more a professional business community, where you share ideas, support and expertise. When all that is happening and the relationships are developing, the business happens naturally.’
‘Spot on’ says Jim. ‘The other factor for me is that the quality of members is outstanding. You are in a community with Owners, Partners, and Directors of some of the biggest and most well-established businesses in the county. That’s a phenomenal network to be part of.’
Fancy being part of a ‘phenomenal network’ in Newbury or Marlow (or is that a silly question?!)? Get in touch and experience the Opendoorz difference for yourself?