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Burton business booming as group expands across the Midlands
Women power spreads across the Midlands as one lady’s dream to create an inspirational business forum sees a town group rapidly expand.
Love Ladies Business Group (LoveLBG), which was founded in Burton, is launching three new networking groups in the next few months as a mother’s passion for supporting business women helps local businesses succeed.
Founder Sue Crooks, who runs her own business SJC Marketing, is passionate about helping business women to support each other.
Since the group started in 2012 in the town, LoveLBG has seen numbers steadily increase and new groups are now forming in Derby, Nottingham and Birmingham to support demand.
“It is about so much more than just referrals and business. Love LBG is a support network,” said Sue, who runs the Burton group from Branston Golf and Country Club each month. “Women and men tend to network very differently and I wanted to create a group which truly got that. It isn’t about hard sell or competition. It’s a group where like-minded women can come together and support each other. Where we understand many of us can’t make 7am breakfast meetings because before our day starts we are organising the kids and taking them to school. We do business together because we genuinely understand and share friendships not because we are told to so we find that women tend to get a lot of repeat business and referrals as they really believe in the products or want the service.”
Despite only starting a few years ago the not-for-profit company has now got six regular monthly meetings in Ashby, Burton, Leicester, Coalville, Loughborough and the West Midlands with new groups opening in Derby on Monday 26th September.
Sue, who originally started the group in Ashby and Burton, said the venture had not only been really rewarding to see other businesses develop but that she had also seen her confidence grow through developing the concept.
“There is just something about Love LBG,” said Sue, who puts her growing success down to the vibrant collection of local business women. “Not many people know but before this I was very self-conscious, I would never have had the confidence to stand up in a room and speak to a crowd of people. That 30 second slot in network meetings where you ‘sell yourself’ filled me with dread. However, as I have seen LoveLBG grow I have also grown too and it is great to be able to help other women in similar situations. I am really excited about what the future holds.”
LoveLBG has over 110 members and although no formal details of sales gained through the group are made each month Sue verified one member had recorded £60,000 worth of referrals in 12 months.
More information on LoveLBG is available at www.lovelbg.co.uk. Each group meets once a month over lunchtime with a guest speaker and the opportunity to share your business highlights with others. Members are able to attend any area meeting with no one seat rules and opportunities for more informal coffee meeting networks. The group also raises money for local charities each month and raised £5,000 last year. If you have had a bad experience with networking try us out and if you are afraid of making that first visit you will be surprised how relaxed it is and enjoyable!
BTV went along to a charity fundraising night for Burton Albion community Trust Ghana Project at Apne Restaurant to bring you all the details.