With email, text messaging and social media it’s never been easier for a micro-business like ours to stay connected 24/7 with customers and suppliers. Like many organisations we’re constantly being told that the future of business communication is online.
Sometimes though it can be more beneficial commercially to take yourself out of your digital comfort zone, step away from your computer screen or mobile phone and meet someone new face to face. You never know, it could lead to a significant business or career opportunity.
Here’s one example. We’re members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). FSB events come in all shapes and sizes at national, regional and local levels but each one offers a unique opportunity to network, with the potential for making a connection that directly benefits you and your business. You never know who you might meet or how significant that meeting can turn out to be.
When our Managing Director, Alan Cooper was asked to speak about his own business journey at the FSB North Wales Conference back in 2018, his main concern was to make sure he gave a talk that was interesting to the wide spectrum of FSB members in the audience.
With a background in cartography and surveying and as a Director of a comparatively niche online mapping software company Alan was aware that he needed to keep his presentation light and accessible. After all, the last thing he was expecting was to meet someone at the Conference who not only understood the market Alan worked in but also had a very real and specific need for the software and services Blue Fox Technology provides.
Although our business is digital, sometimes attending events in the real world can pay dividends. You never know who you might meet.
As he was preparing to leave the Conference Hall Alan was approached by Charlotte Girow, Director of Business Development at MCPC Systems (UK) Limited, a specialist asset management software company based in Saltney, on the north Wales/Chester border. Her company wanted to improve its software offer to its customers and listening to Alan’s talk made Charlotte realise Blue Fox Technology had the specific type of software and services she was looking for.
Fast forward to January 2020 and Blue Fox Technology and MCPC are now collaborating on developing a new piece of software that not only enhances the way MCPC customers can manage their assets online but also provides both companies with new channels for selling and marketing their software and services into other markets.
For a business like ours that specialises in software for access and use over the web, networking provides a unique, real world platform to meet people from the world of small business and to share with them our experiences and ideas. An FSB networking event doesn’t guarantee a new and exciting business opportunity, but one day it just might.