Solstice Signposts the Future

At High Post, we reached a new high point in the history of The Boardroom Network.

At The Stones Hotel, TBNers gathered for a meeting that seems to have evolved already from the launch-phase through to ready-to-run, ready to flow, ready to grow.  Without Jacqui in person, it was exciting to see that Jacqui’s robust systems and diligent preparation still paid dividends – the right people on the right tables, and the room filled with excellent connections.  There was never any doubt that the meeting was in safe and exciting hands with Sam Dyer and Jay Rachet (and with Bertie Coy never seeking the spotlight, but being a phenomenal driving force that should be recognised).

Justin Wharmby’s excellent photos tell the tale with panache and style.  All the images on this page are his work – and are used with thanks.

More than this, the breakfast was by far the best yet – so a big SHOUT out to the team at The Stones.

Aside from some of the most enriching round-table connections yet, I’d have to say that outstanding value was delivered by our four keynote presenters, backed up by superb energy from our reliable and resilient table ambassadors.  Thank you to all!

Direct Mail at a Cutting-Edge Price – wrapped with ironclad compliance.

Garry Ford – Latcham Direct – launched our educational portion by sharing how compliant Latham Direct is with the dreaded ‘G’ Word – GDPR.  This gives you and I peace of mind (verifiable through their systems) when using Latcham for direct mailing and other cost-effective services. Particularly relevant to our future plans was Garry’s mention of membership mailings.  Watch this space… something amazing may be about to happen.

Latcham Direct was originally associated with printing – and rightfully so – then later with Direct Mail, but nowadays, compliance, data and the back end of these processes now drive the business.  The cost benefits of working with Latham Direct for Direct Mail was the example Garry chose to share as a case in point.

Post that would cost you and I 70p per item can be delivered more effectively and efficiently for approximately 30p per item.

It’s a server-based solution that is both secure and compliant.

It’s personal, it’s professional, and it’s process-auditable.  Peace of mind and more pounds in our pockets!  What’s not to like?

And if you needed more, every document is archived – helpful if there is ever a legal claim.  Add data recovery to this and you can be assured you’re in safe hands.

Garry can take your postage problems away for half the price – a no-brainer!

Reach Garry on 0 77 38 764 014 or


Are You Fishing in the Right Pond with the Right Bait?

Ian Skinner, who has been enjoying a wonderful season of success – and rightfully so – shared how he focuses his business efforts on the right customers in the right location with the right bait.

I really appreciated the interactive nature of Ian’s presentation skills.  We had various types of fish laminated and placed on some of the tables, to make the point that the bait that catches the Pike is not identical to that which catches the Carp or the Bluefin Tuna!

Are we fishing in the right pond?

Are we using the right bait?

Are we using the right tackle?

This is not common-practice even if it may seem common-sense.  Way too many of us are using a sprat to catch a mackerel… in the wild hope that we’ll catch something better.  How much more effective it is to realise and cater for what our desired ‘fish’ really like to eat, and then take that to where they love to swim in large numbers.

The additional point that I found very powerful was the explanation that much of Ian’s current exponential growth has been through promoting trusted strategic partners.  By building a know-like-trust network, Ian is able to leverage those contacts for the benefit of each partner and his existing customers.  His call to action was to broaden our offerings to our existing customers (far easier than attracting new customers) and form alliances with others who can deliver value to our existing customer base in return for a fair ‘thank you’ in exchange!  Win-Win-Win.  Win for the customers, win for the partners, win for Ian’s company.

This is tribal collaborative selling, and we like it!

If you’d like to take Ian up on his kind offer to share in more depth, you can reach him at on his personal mobile: 07940 728263


Riding the Rollercoaster of Expectations and Attachment

Those of us who know Richard Mack – R T Promotions – have come to delight in his self-effacing good humour and his deep business wisdom.  Richard shared the mixed-blessing of expanding the team with new staff, the power of clear communication, and the need to stay positive.

From the joys of almost landing the Pixar contract, the excitement of those 8 Grand Prix deals, and through to the hilarious discovery that the large contract with FIFA was actually the “Falkland Islands Fishing Association,” Richard had us laughing with him, rather than at him.  And his message resonated: stay positive and, if I may say, when life dishes up lemons, rejoice and break out the Gin!

Richard answered the question, “Why do I network?”  His answer is totally in tune with our ‘ESC’ trinity of values that we deliver: Education, Support, and Connection.  Even when we don’t need extra business, Richard finds The Boardroom Network both supportive and connective.  Through it, he is understood by other business owners and senior management, and he connects with additional service providers… all of whom we can refer on.  Being a business owner can be lonely (though Richard didn’t use the ‘L’ word), so being ‘understood’ by our peers has great value in helping us stay positive.  After all, how many of us have life-partners who could really articulate what we do?

Success, or setback, I think most of us would like to see the eco-friendly pen that Richard’s team nearly sold 100,000 of to Pixar – the pen that decomposes and has a seed in that you can plant!  Richard got a lot of energy out of this – “Little old me…” who nearly landed the deal of the century.  Next time, Richard… you deserve it.

Then there was the Grand Prix order, that turned out to be the Ringwood pedal-car race!  This was a powerful example of good service leading through ‘connection’ to ongoing revenue.  Because of Richard and the Team’s diligence here, they won an NHS Trust customer who buys month after month after month.  As Richard says, “Stay Positive,” and I’d add, “Play the long game.”  How did the NHS work come in?  Through a testimonial from the Stag-do of 10 T-shirts that was the Ringwood Grand Prix.  The NHS client liked what Richard and the Team had delivered, and, even more importantly, their attitude.  This ‘power of attitude’ is also reflected in Jon Beake’s points below.

You can punch above your weight if you are passionate.  You never know who you are going to be referred to.  You don’t know what that next phone call is going to be – it may be Formula One, it may be the Grand Prix, it may be FIFA… hey, may even be a complete Wall-E! You takes your Pixars and makes yer choices… but make sure you always get a testimonial!!!

Reach Richard at and on 01202 882 893

Want Employees to turn up on time, wear the right kit, and finish the job?

Jon Beake – Wessex Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association – a branch of the Ministry of Defence, was our final speaker.  His mission?  To be here in a business network, to connect business people to defence personnel.  And here’s why…

25% of the army currently live and work here, in Wiltshire, increasing to 30% in the next year or two years when the army come back from Germany.  Not Aldershot, but Wiltshire.  This represents an opportunity of enormous proportions.

The Veteran population is absolutely massive – and a powerful resource for those businesses with the appropriate values and vision.

We can all support the Armed Forces through “The Armed Forced Covenant” – where we say, “We’re Armed Forces’ Friendly!”

Jon says, “If you are recruiting, we’ll help you fish in the talent pools.”

Service personnel have a wealth of soft skills from their time in the military that are valued by small businesses.  The strategy should be to hire the right person first, and then to train them second.  Attitude and Action are the keys.  If you want people who’ll turn up on time, in the right kit, with the right attitude, and don’t clock off until the job is done, the ex-service, reservist and cadet population are a really good pool to fish in.

Then there are Service Spouses.  Service spouses are an underemployed population.  This is a highly valuable talent pool too.  Corporate Social Responsibility is a great and welcome concept, but Jon is most interested in those who want to really benefit from onboarding quality service personnel.

If you’d like to discover more of how you and your business could benefit in a win-win scenario, email Jon at wx-reed@rfca.mod.ukor call him, personally, on his mobile: 07946 349322.

I’m sure you can see what a valuable session we enjoyed at Solstice, and you can further enjoy or review some of the content on our Facebook pages (The Boardroom Education and The Boardroom Network.)

Lex McKee

The Boardroom Education