Networking proves invaluable for business women | Wright Vigar

Networking proves invaluable for business women

 In News

TODAY’s working women have thrown out the rule books, proving there are numerous routes to business and managerial success.

For Rebecca Reay, Annmarie McClintock and Jo Richardson, achievement comes in different guises and networking plays a powerful role.

Rebecca Reay teamed-up with her mum Brenda Wilkinson to launch Snazzybeads a year ago, highlighting how running a micro business can complement traditional paid employment. A part-time beauty therapy lecturer at Lincoln College, Rebecca relishes the added buzz of developing a lifestyle business at a pace to suit herself.

“I was encouraged to start the jewellery venture, because I grew-up within a family which had previous business interests,” she said.

Turning glass sticks into eyecatching beads, sold at shows and over the Internet, is addictive. Rebecca also runs workshops where participants use her beads to create their own wearable art.

“I think networking is important, particularly for home-based business owners, who may feel very isolated,” said Rebecca.

Jo RichJo BWL Article Photoardson is Wright Vigar Ltd’s Small Business Unit Manager and has been with the firm for twelve years. She is passionate about meeting the brains behind innovative enterprises – such as Hayley Codona of the patisserie, homewares and gifts business One Castle Hill– and steering them to further success.

“Traditionally, we have dealt with larger firms and the small enterprises associated with them,” said Jo.

“More recently we decided we could offer a wealth of support to more micro and small businesses.  We are now talking to a rising number about helping them with their compliance and also development needs. The timing is right.  Many people are now starting businesses and they are being referred to us.”

Jo who is Business Womens Link (BWL) Vice-Chair added: “Networking is really valuable for growing businesses. It’s a two-way street. You learn from the business owners and managers which you meet and they also learn from you.”

Annmarie McClintock became managing director of Lincolnshire family business Oldrids in November 2006. She quickly found herself overseeing a raft of changes at its Boston department store and Downtown outlets in Boston and Grantham, where there has been no let-up in the pace of progress.

Now she is juggling more responsibility following Oldrids’ expansion into Lincoln and Gainsborough, which has seen its workforce rise to 750 people.

Annmarie was irresistibly drawn to the challenges offered by Oldrids, after a career path which saw retail giants, the Burton Group, Arcadia Group and House of Fraser added to her CV.

“I believe women can be what they want to be in today’s world. They should dream high and go for it,” said Annmarie.

“My early challenges at Oldrids required me to modernise store systems, develop a computer-based portfolio and devise a customer service programme. I also saw an opportunity to create a talent pool. Each year, 12 people embark on special programmes, as part of our succession planning.”

Oldrids’ takeover of Lincolnshire Co-operative’s Lindsey Centre store in Gainsborough and its Moorland Centre in Lincoln, mean Annmarie’s responsibilities have intensified, but networking will not become a casualty.

“It is important to meet people from all areas of the business world because you can get very focused on your own area of expertise. You learn so much by taking time to talk to people from sectors different from your own.”

BWL Focus Group member Sue Gordon runs “Networking is not simply an opportunity to mix and swap notes. It opens the door to inter-trading, the benefits of discounts and wider web exposure,” she said.

Article as printed in Chamber Matters 2013 –

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search