Sussex Business Networking Hubs

Business Networking Hubs in Sussex!

With a plethora of business networking HUBS across East and West Sussex, we’ve discovered some real gems of fantastic networking groups we want to share with you.

We believe business networking should be about sharing; knowledge, contacts, or even a trade swap. We encourage our networkers to be open and honest about their businesses as you only get what you put into your networking; meaning if you are willing to help others, they’ll likely want to help you with your company too.

Business networking for B2B services can be diverse and at times daunting, but we are here to help you to increase your own network and make new contacts which can be of mutual benefit and be very rewarding to your business.

With this said, the key to successful business marketing is in the invaluable relationships that you are personally able to forge face-to-face with potential clients, to guarantee a strong understanding of the other, and as such, this is the focus of our business networking relationships with companies in East & West Sussex.

1. Platinum Business Club - By Invitation
2. Basepoint Business Centres - Free to Attend
3. First Friday Networking - Free to Attend

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1. Platinum Business Club

Karim Mohamed, Mayo Wynne Baxter, Julie Frith, Mishon Mackay, and Maarten Hoffmann, The Platinum ClubPlatinum Business Club is an exclusive business networking group comprising of business leaders from some of the country’s largest companies. It offers a refreshing networking scene in the luxurious surroundings of the Grand Hotel, Brighton and the Hilton Hotel, Gatwick. Co-founder Maarten answers some questions about the networking group that offer exceptional opportunities to connect.

1. Why did you set up Platinum Business Club?
I was tired of the standard networking format that was tired, lazy and unprofitable for attendees. I wanted a more targeted, elegant grown up event and the Platinum Club was born. We are very time poor these days therefore if you are going to devote time to networking, make sure it is right for your company; efficient, worthwhile and most importantly, enjoyable. The Platinum Club is the most successful peer to peer networking group in the South East and is open by application to Directors, MD’s, CEO’s and Entrepreneurs who would like to meet and do business with an eclectic group of influential business leaders.

2. What gives you the most satisfaction as part of your job?
Changing the way we network and ensuring it is an event to look forward to in the monthly calendar and not a chore.

3. What has been your proudest moment since beginning Platinum Business Club?
Two members getting married funnily enough. Dan Montagnani of Groundsure and Natalie Page of Page Marketing.

4. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would be a woman so that l can finally understand how they work!

5. What would you say is the trickiest aspect of being such a large part of Platinum Business Magazine?
Nothing tricky just hard work. We are now the largest circulation regional business publication in the UK, we have published 4 titles, have 2 new ones launching and reach 92% of the SE business population. Actually, looking back that it does seem quite tricky.

The Platinum Club6. What have you learnt throughout your time with Platinum Business Club?
Networking, done well, is the most important aspect of any marketing or PR budget. How can you see eye to eye if you never meet face to face.

7. Favourite ice cream flavour?
I don’t like ice cream.

8. What is the greatest piece of advice you can give businesses either starting up or successful already?
Choose very carefully who you listen to when asking for advice. Networking is a great way to canvas varied sector advice from a great range of unbiased professionals just for the cost of turning up and drinking fine Champagne.

9. If you could own any super car, what would it be and why?
I do - an R8 V10 plus Spyder

10. Biggest weakness?
My R8 V10 plus Spyder

11. Best strength?
Balls and passion. Feeling really passionate about something, working out how to do it and then having the courage to do it. If you fall over, get up, dust yourself off and get on with it. You simply cannot have success without some failure along the way as you don’t learn from success, you learn from failure.

12. Sum up Platinum Business Club in just a tweet (280 characters or less)
Platinum Business Club is an exclusive business networking group comprising of business leaders from some of the country’s largest companies.

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2. Basepoint Business Centres

Basepoint ManagersBasepoint is free networking at its very best! With fantastic lunches and the chance to win a bottle of wine at each gathering (what more could you ask for!?), these events also have an informative and engaging talk from a local guest speaker. Net XP Director, Sonny Cutting visits the branches of Crawley, Haywards Heath, Shoreham and Peacehaven almost every month. The staff are brilliant; incredibly helpful and very professional. Visit their sites on these links below to book in and go along.

Basepoint’s Corporate Profile.

The Networking Hub is a free B2B networking event hosted by Basepoint in our business centres across the country. The events are open to all kinds of businesses and our aim is to give all those that attend the opportunity to meet new people, to build on existing business relationships and to generate new leads.

The Networking Hub format is largely informal, with a brief talk from a local guest speaker. There is a complimentary light buffet lunch and plenty of opportunity to network with other attendees. Basepoint also provides a business card prize draw and a business 2 business exchange facility, where you can promote your business to other attendees.

I recently asked Stephanie a few questions about Basepoint Crawley and a few other things too, and these were the answers on the 12th March 2017.

1. Why did you join Basepoint?
After selling my business I was looking to return to the serviced office industry & loved the ethos of Basepoint so jumped at the chance to join the company. The additional support provided for our licensees is second to none & as Basepoint are continually looking for ways to improve the services we provide, input from the entire team is actively encouraged which makes for a great working environment.

Basepoint Crawley2. What gives you the best satisfaction as part of your job?
2 things… Seeing our licensees grow & build successful businesses, knowing we’ve been able to support them along the way. And being able to actively support local charities through our match-funding programme.

3. What has been your proudest moment since beginning at Basepoint?
Working with our nominated charities & seeing the difference the money raised makes to them.

4. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I’d have a super brain so I could learn anything I wanted to in seconds - like they do in the Matrix.

5. What’s your favourite colour and why?
Red - because it always cheers me up.

6. What have you learnt throughout your time with Basepoint?
No two business are the same, but all businesses go through similar challenges so you can always learn something from other entrepreneurs, even if they’re in a completely different industry to you.

7. Favourite ice cream flavour?
Chocolate - is there any other flavour?!

8. What is the greatest piece of advice you can give businesses either starting up or successful already?
Make the most of the networks & services around you - so many entrepreneurs say they’re too busy to utilise the support that’s out there for them, but just stepping away for an hour or 2 to make new contacts or learn something new could give you that 1 differentiator that will take your business to the next level.

9. If you could own any super car, what would it be and why?
Audi R8 V10 - it’s just beautiful!

10. Biggest weakness?
Perfectionism!

11. Best strength?
The ability to build relationships with people from all walks of life.

12. Sum up Basepoint in just a tweet (140 characters or less)
Flexible workspace, networking & a supportive business community with a charitable heart

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3. First Friday Networking
Steve Wilson, First Friday Networking

What is First Friday Network?
The First Friday Network is a monthly free business networking event held on various Fridays with meetings across the country, including: East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Lancashire. To find out when a meeting is happening in your area click the links (below). All the networks are linked but are run by local business people. Serving the business community by way of offering a venue to network, promote and exchange ideas.

Why should you network?
The value of networking is now widely accepted. Most businesses realise that word-of-mouth recommendation is by far the best way to gain new business. If you are looking for new customers, new suppliers or merely want to meet and chat with other business people to share experiences, talk about your recent successes or discuss mutual problems, then bring some business cards, come along and network at a relaxed and friendly event.

Interviewer / Sonny Cutting: First Friday Networking is another free networking event which run in the mornings, lunches and evenings too. Each event is free to attend, there is no formal process, simply sign in, get networking and meet new contacts. 

I recently asked Steve a few questions about his business and a few other things too, and these were the answers on the 27th April 2017.

1. Why did you start FFN?
After moving my business from London I was doing the rounds of network meetings and decided there was a gap in the market for those people who didn’t want an early morning breakfast meeting or a weekly commitment, or indeed to pay a subscription to a large organisation.

2. What gave you the idea?
I knew networking was a great way to get new business so wanted to meet as many businesses as possible without restrictions.

3. What has been your proudest moment since beginning FFN?
Being recognised for my contribution to the local business scene at the Chichester Observer Business Awards for three years running, winning Business Personality of the Year in 2009 and runner up in 2008 and 2010. Fred Dinenage described me as: “a real ideas man who is out and about everywhere, involved in Young Enterprise as a judge and mentor, a board member for the Education Business Partnership, Chairman of the Chichester branch of the South Coast Design Forum and much, much more. He is also well known for his networking activities; running the popular First Friday Network which is growing nationwide and attracting new members every month.”

4. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I’d love to fly! The sense of freedom that must give would be fabulous!

5. Why Sussex to begin FFN?
It was where my business was! An easy decision.

6. What have you learnt throughout your time with FFN?
I like people! May sound odd but I love the buzz when entrepreneurs get together and ideas start to flow.

7. Favourite ice cream flavour?
Salted caramel

8. What is the greatest piece of advice you can give businesses either starting up or successful already?
I have been running my own company since the 1980s and always considered myself a designer running a business, I only recently changed my mindset to being an entrepreneur running a design business - slight change in words but a huge leap in the way I approach things. I would advise all small business owners to work ‘on’ the business not just ‘in’ it! If you have not read The ‘E’ Myth by Michael Gerber then I encourage you to do so, it will explain everything very clearly.

9. If you could own any super car, what would it be and why?
Classic Porsche - the design is timeless.

10. Biggest weakness?
Not being able to say no! I am always up for getting involved in things, even if it spreads my time a little to thin.

First Friday Networking11. Best strength?
This quote by a client sums up my strengths I think: creativity and just getting things done!

“I recommend Steve Wilson of WDA as a creative graphic designer producing high quality work that continues to delight customers and exceed expectations. But that’s not all you get with Steve. He has built a successful business on a strong ethical basis working within the local community investing in the future by supporting the Young Enterprise programme, strengthening the business community serving the Chamber of Commerce and developing and expanding his own First Friday Network Group which is built on zero cost to participants, a welcoming format and inclusivity. And that’s not all, he found time to be in at the birth of South Coast Design Forum and has given his time and talent to get this fledgling flying. If you like the look of the SCDF website and eNewsletter they are very much Steve’s creation.”

12. Sum up FFN in just a tweet (140 characters or less)
Fun, FREE networking; the easiest way to make contacts and get more clients in just 90 minutes month!