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Finally the clocks have sprung forward, the days are getting longer and warmer, and the season of new life and chocolate are upon us! 
After the first brilliant BWN Masterclass, hosted in March by Charlotte Howell of Virtual Owl Marketing, we have another one coming along this month. Wonderful Words will be all about leveraging language – more on that below. 
This month, we’re shining the BWN spotlight on our online groups. It’s always of huge benefit to widen your network as much as possible, and our online groups are a fantastic way to do that. More on this below as well. 
Enjoy the long weekend, however you plan to spend it – mine will involve lots of family time, and plenty of chocolate! 
As part of our Thriving Not Surviving Strategy, we’re holding a series of Masterclasses on topics you told us would really help you out in your businesses. This month it’s Wonderful Words, hosted by copywriter and blogging expert Rebecca Chamberlain. She will show you how to put your marketing plan into action, writing the words for your business that grab the attention of your ideal customers, using the language that most appeals to them. 
As many of you may know, one of the ways businesses can measure customer loyalty and satisfaction is a Net Promoter Score. It is incredibly important to us that we are continuously giving our members the support they need and so once a quarter we will be asking you to rate us on a scale of 1-10. Our first survey results show that a whopping 95% of our members would recommend us to a fellow business woman - which I’m absolutely thrilled with. We just need to keep it that high for the rest of the year now! Look out for the next survey coming in Q2 and feel free to use this to measure your own client satisfaction levels. 
When Covid hit, we were stuck at home, and all of our groups quickly pivoted to online networking. I won’t lie, it wasn’t without its challenges, but we all adapted and BWN actually grew really quickly over this time. I have fond memories of us sharing food pics and discussing the latest loo roll shortages! 
Fast forward a year and a half, and while most groups went back to in-person networking, we found there were so many benefits to online networking we formed two brand new National groups led by Kristina Richardson and Sonia Norman. 
We asked Kris & Sonia what they and their members love about online - here’s what they had to say…… 
Convenience: Let's face it, getting dressed up, driving to a location, and spending hours at an event can be exhausting. When you network online, you can do it from the comfort of your own home (or office, or coffee shop, or wherever you happen to be). 
Access to a wider network: When you're limited to networking in your local area, you're missing out on all the amazing people and opportunities that exist outside of it. By networking online, you can connect with people from all over the country and expand your reach. 
Flexibility: Online networking allows you to fit it into your schedule whenever is convenient for you. No need to rearrange your day or miss out on other commitments in order to attend a networking event. 
More efficient: With online networking, you can connect with people quickly and efficiently, without any of the small talk or awkward silences that can happen in person. 
More focused: When you're networking online, you can be more intentional about who you're connecting with and why. You can search for people in your industry, connect with people who have similar interests, or even seek out potential collaborators for specific projects. 
While networking in person certainly has its benefits, there's a lot to be said for networking online as well. So if you are curious, connect with Kris and Sonia. BWN members can visit as a guest exactly the same as you would in person. The meeting cost is only £12 as you aren’t paying for lunch. 
Why did you join BWN and how long have you been a member for? 
Initially I joined BWN to meet other likeminded women, with a view to growing my network from a business and personal perspective. Going into business on your own and coming from a large team in a corporate environment can be quite daunting and lonely at times, networking was a way to have a support network and “colleagues” as much as it was about gaining new clients. Joining BWN was one of the very first things I did (before I even had business cards ordered!) when I set up my business, almost 10 years ago now.  
Stefanie Price Wealth Planning now hold 5 seats across the BWN network and love the environment of both Aruna’s face to face and online groups, the collaboration and opportunity that the groups offer is second to none when it comes to women's networking 
What does your business do? 
We are Financial Advisors based in Olney, Bucks. I have been working in the financial services industry and providing advice to my clients for more than 17 years. This has brought me much experience in helping people achieve the life priorities that they have for themselves, their families and their businesses. Over the past 10 years my client base has grown considerably, as has my team, now to include, Kris, Margot, Laura & Nick. My business vision is to be the financial adviser of choice, by way of reputation, to educate and inspire people to improve their future and future wealth, through easy, realistic financial planning. We feel like we have come someway to achieving this. We really feel that BWN has helped us so far in this journey over the years, and owe a lot to the wonderful women it brings together. 
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your business and looking back, what would you do differently? 
Our biggest challenge has been and continues to be about scale. Making sure we are evolving in such a way that allows us to grow our team, take on staff members who align their values with ours, in order to continue to provide advice to all those clients that want our assistance, guidance and support. In the past we have held back from taking on more staff and growing the team, in fear of overstretching ourselves and perhaps taking on the wrong people. In hindsight we should have been braver and just gone for it! 
How did you feel about networking before you started and what benefits has it brought you? 
To be honest, I had no idea that “networking” even existed! But someone mentioned it was the best thing to do to get a new business off the ground so I contacted Aruna and started attending her groups. I could not even begin to talk about the benefits it provides for both me personally and the business and do this justice. Not only has it brought us new clients, I have made such beautiful and reliable friendships, ones I will cherish forever. I've found new team members, shoulders to cry on, business mentors and above all else a wonderfully supportive community. 
What is your guilty pleasure? 
Oh wow, ummm, most definitely wine :-) 
What do you like to do in your Me Time? 
Walk, run, grow fruit and vegetables, read up on health and nutrition and watch my boys playing sport. 
Be social and connect with Stefanie: 
National online meetings: 
Tuesday, 11 April: BWN National Online hosted by Kristina Richardson 
Wednesday, 12 April: BWN National Online hosted by Sonia Norman 
In person meetings: 
Tuesday, 4 April: BWN Oundle hosted by Sarah McCarron 
Thursday, 6 April: BWN Milton Keynes hosted by Aruna Rao 
Wednesday, 12 April: BWN Hitchin hosted by Ali Moore 
Thursday, 13 April: BWN Ampthill hosted by Natalie Murray 
Monday, 17 April: BWN Chicheley hosted by Aruna Rao 
Tuesday, 18 April: BWN Northampton hosted by Aruna Rao 
Wednesday, 19 April: BWN Moorgate hosted by Aruna Rao 
Wednesday, 19 April: BWN Banbury hosted by Laura Laws 
Thursday, 20 April: BWN St Neots hosted by Jan Bromley 
Thursday, 20 April: BWN Kent East Online hosted by Barbara Luna 
Monday, 24 April: BWN Buckingham hosted by Heide Swift 
Tuesday, 25 April: BWN Kettering hosted by Aruna Rao 
Wednesday, 26 April: BWN Towcester hosted by Aruna Rao 
Thursday, 27 April: BWN Bedford hosted by Aruna Rao 
If you're not a member but would like to visit one of our meetings, please call me on 07957 284851 or email me at aruna@bwnetworking.co.uk. The meeting fees are £26 for in person meetings and £12 for the online ones. 
Please don’t forget your referral scheme. Bring a visitor to an online meeting and your meeting will be free, bring a guest to a face to face meeting and you get 50% off. 
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