The Pet Shop Boys said ‘Go West’ so we did and now Cheltenham is buzzing with the Opendoorz winning formula for professional networking.
Networking works – fact. If you don’t believe me, try these facts on for size.
In the last year, Opendoorz members passed in excess of £2 million worth of business between them. We’ve done the calculations and it works out that’s an average ROI of more than 500% on membership costs.
Still need convincing?! Well, on top of the cold, hard cash in your pocket, there’s the wider benefits to you from being part of a community of highly experienced and diverse business leaders. Our members come from all sectors and professions, meaning you have a network of serious professionals in your contacts list all willing to generously share their knowledge and expertise.
Finally (and because good reasons always come in threes), there’s the fact that our members benefit from a level of personal development that’s largely unprecedented. Our meetings are structured in such a way that we put a big emphasis on continuing professional development and our members tell us how valuable that element is to them.
And so, it was no surprise that Cheltenham’s thriving business community leapt at the chance of a different approach to high-calibre professional networking when we announced we would be opening a new group in the Gloucestershire town.
Good networking is a skill and using it well to position yourself, your business or your career, can yield big benefits with a bit of thought and planning. Luckily for Cheltenham business owners and Directors, here at Opendoorz we’ve got the odd decade or two of networking experience. We’ve used that experience to hone a winning formula for professional networking,
that puts great emphasis on facilitating 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 Opendoorz – it’s one of the reasons members stay for such a long time.
The new Cheltenham group has 11 founder members from a wide range of business sectors, including graphic design, financial planning, insurance, videography, PR, recruitment and vehicle leasing. They meet on the second Tuesday of the month for a member only meeting and on the fourth Tuesday of the month for a guest event at The Queen’s Hotel overlooking the Imperial State Gardens.
When it comes to getting the right calibre of people in the room, we have two key criteria at Opendoorz. The first is ‘desirability’ which is all about what an individual can bring to the group and what the group has to offer them. The second is ‘eligibility’ – do they have knowledge, experience and wisdom that will add value to our conversations. And do they have the right calibre of connections that will bring value to the group.
These are important criteria because the format of Opendoorz meetings focus on developing strong relationships, not selling. This stems directly from the belief that the right to be referred to must be earned and that only comes from strong trusted relationships peppered with credibility and friendship.
A long-standing member Sam Farmer from Nightingales Wealth Management 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. You’re 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.”
Gloucestershire businesses are benefitting from the Opendoorz effect with the new Cheltenham group and a North Cotswold group that meets in Lower Slaughter and draws members from Cirencester, Chipping Norton and surrounding areas.
However, it’s not just Gloucestershire where Opendoorz is expanding. In the last year, we’ve also opened new groups in Newbury and Marlow, giving both Berkshire and Buckinghamshire a taste of the Opendoorz winning networking formula too!
With 12 groups across Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, and a community of more than 140 members, the facts speak for themselves. Opendoorz professional networking helps businesses, grow, learn and become more resilient – fact.
If you’d like to try a bit of networking love the Opendoorz way, drop us a line and join us at a guest event.