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Cherchez Networking Networking For Business Women In Cheshire Sun, 29 Jun 2014 19:53:13 +0000 en HMRC - helping get it right Tue, 08 Nov 2011 13:50:53 +0000 admin CHERCHEZ are really proud to announce that we’ve been working with the HMRC Business Education and Support Team to bring you a host of useful information to help you run your business.

Whether you are an employer, a self-employed individual or are even just thinking about starting out on your own, the information contained on this dedicated page should prove invaluable.

Simply follow the links to find out more.


From 6 April 2013 employers will have to start reporting PAYE information to HMRC in real time. You may see this referred to as Real Time Information - or RTI.

Find out more HERE.

RTI is here - Special Editorial - March 2013


To help small businesses with record keeping on the go, the commercial software industry, following consultation with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), are producing simple record keeping mobile applications for businesses below the VAT threshold. These applications may help you with maintaining good records and include links to HMRC guidance related to record keeping that you may find useful. The majority of these applications are free.




Starting Your Own Business (generic)

Driving Instructors

Motor Schools Association

British Psychological Society

Construction Industry (generic)

Construction Industry (FMB - Federation of Master Builders)

Construction Industry (CITB - Construction Industry Training Board)

Construction Industry (PDA - Painting and Decorating Association)

Construction Industry (ECA - Electrical Contractors Association)

Construction Industry (NAPIT - National Association of Professional Inspectors & Testers)

Construction Industry (L4T - Logic for Training)

Generic Childminders

NCMA - National Childminding Association

Farming (LANTRA)

Young Farmers

Agricultural business

UKTI (Exports)

UKTI (EU Trading)

Foster Carers

Shared lives

Hair and Beauty

MOD - Tax When Leaving the Armed Forces

HCSA - Hospital Consultants & Specialists Association

Farming NFU


Yes - they even have their own Channel on You Tube consisting of a series of short videos which are really useful.

CLICK HERE to access their Channel.


Tax Help


Documents will be added to this list as and when they are published. Just click on each one to view.

Editorial on New Online Service for SMEs - October 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
Editorial on Vat Registration Transformation - July 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
Special Editorial May 2013 - Simpler Income Tax
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
Editorial - Real Time Information
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
October 2011
September 2011


A series of webinars from HMRC are now available and you can find out how to access this valuable resource by CLICKING HERE.

Top Tips For Networking Wed, 05 Oct 2011 11:34:15 +0000 admin Networking Works! 6 steps to growing your business through networking

“I’m too busy to network”
“It’s a waste of time”
“I don’t meet the right people”
“It’s costly; when will I see a return on my investment?”

Networking works, but you have to work at it! When I attended my first networking meeting I was terrified. I worried that nobody would talk to me or that the room would be full of high-flyers who would look down their nose at a training consultant.

I actually had a really positive experience and have been successfully networking ever since. Everyone knows that you get a more positive response from people who you meet face to face yet we still shy away from networking or don’t use it to its full potential.

My 6 top tips for growing your business through networking are:

1. Don’t talk about yourself too much
Aim for an 80:20 ratio with you asking the other person plenty of questions about their business, this is the best way to determine if they would have any use for your service or product. It also gives the other person that “warm fuzzy” feeling if you seem genuinely interested in their business and, after all, most people love to talk about themselves!

2. Practice your 60 second commercial
Most networking events allow the attendees to give a 60 second commercial so make sure yours is memorable but professional…don’t get the other networkers to stand on one leg while humming the National Anthem, you’ll just make them feel ridiculous and alienate people.
Your 60 second commercial can also be used in answer to “So what do you do?” and is especially useful if you provide a service or manufacture a product that wouldn’t be instantly recognised by a lay person.

3. Talk to as many people as possible
Without being rude or cutting conversations short, try to speak to as many people as possible. Don’t ever dismiss somebody if they don’t seem like the kind of person you would do business with as they may be very well-connected and may refer you to a contact.

4. Take plenty of business cards
Give your card to everyone that you talk to, or why not give them two or three and ask them to pass the extra ones on to a contact whom you may be able to help?
Some networking groups may email a delegate list out before the event with each person’s contact details on……keep this.

5. Follow up
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF NETWORKING!!! If you don’t do this then you might as well not bother with networking. Call everyone who attended the networking event a few days later, don’t worry if you didn’t speak to them at the event. Why not try the following approach;
“Hi, we were at the same networking event yesterday and I really wanted to come and have a chat with you but didn’t seem to get the opportunity. Would I be able to just take a minute or so of your time now to see if it would be worthwhile for us to meet for a coffee and find out more about each other’s businesses?”

Don’t feel cheeky doing this, ultimately everyone goes to networking events to win more business or to find solutions to their business headaches. If you promised to send some information or introduce a contact then make sure you do this within the next couple of days. Use LinkedIn to connect with people you have met also.

6. Give to Get
Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay, “Compensation,” wrote that each person is compensated in a like manner for that which he or she has contributed. The same applies to networking; if you can introduce two people who might be able to work with each other, then they are more likely to reciprocate. Whether it’s an introduction, expert advice or information, it all helps.

Networking isn’t a quick fix to solve your business problems; it’s a slower but more sustainable method for growing your revenue as long as you make the most of it.

Author: Helen Jones, Sandler Training and Cherchez Member

Special Events Sat, 26 Feb 2011 14:57:00 +0000 admin There are no special events planned at this time

Please see our Manchester and Stockport pages for regular meeting details.

New Year Resolution: How to Make Your Business Greener Wed, 22 Dec 2010 12:57:40 +0000 admin A greener business offers a number of benefits. It saves you money. It helps improve the environment. Additionally, you can use your “green” status to help market your business. In fact, greening your business is a great New Year’s resolution.

Here’s how to make your business greener in the coming year.

Step One: Identify your existing habits and practices

Spend a week or two analyzing your current habits and practices. What habits need to be changed to become more “green”? For example, do you commonly print all agreements or receipts? Do you leave your computer and electronics on at night when you’re not using them?

Keep a journal of the habits you can or want to change to support your resolution.

Step Two: Research how far you can take it

How green do you want to go? For example, do you want to simply modify your existing habits? Or do you want to consider becoming a business that runs solely on natural energy? Decide exactly how green you want to go.

Step Three: Start laying out your plan

You’ve identified the habits you want to change to support a greener business. You have also made a decision about how green you want to be. Now it’s time to plan for success. To achieve success you’re going to need to change your habits, or better still, replace them with completely new ones.

For example, if you have realized that you often leave your electronics on when you’re not using them, you can modify this habit by plugging everything into a power strip. Then you simply turn off the strip when you’re not using these items.

If you’re making major changes like converting to 100% solar power you’re going to want to investigate how to make it happen. This will require not only a change of habit but also a complete overhaul of many of your systems.

Achieving success takes a commitment. Consider motivating yourself with a reward when you achieve success. For example, if you’re converting your office to 100% solar energy you might throw a party to celebrate your accomplishment. This is also a great way to generate some press and publicity. You could speak at your local Small Business Association, at various Networking Groups, or at Chamber of Commerce local events about how you made your business greener.

Going green is a noble goal. You’ll not only save money for your business, you’ll improve the world around you. Identify where you can make changes in your business - and then create a plan to make it happen.

Start Planning Now - Green is Good!

Top 10 Affirmations For Healthy Body And Mind Fri, 26 Nov 2010 09:09:54 +0000 admin When you have “convenience” food bombarding you from every direction, it can be difficult to choose options that give your body and mind the nourishment they need. However, if you have daily reminders and effective tools at your disposal, you just may find that eating the right foods and feeding your body and mind the best fuels becomes a lot easier.

Of course, there will always be temptation, but when you equip yourself with anti-temptation tools, you will be able to quickly re-focus your mind on your greater goal of getting healthy!

Using Affirmations to Make Healthy Food and Nutrition Choices

When everyone around you at the office is indulging in burgers, fries, and sugary drinks, it’s awfully tempting to join in, isn’t it? But what if you could stop that temptation in its tracks and actually choose to make a healthy choice? You don’t need me to tell you that fatty and sugary choices are not the kinds of food that your body needs - you need to tell yourself!

It can be hard in moments of temptation to make the right choice, but with the help of positive affirmations, you can re-train your brain to replace the desire for junk food with healthy choices.

Affirmations can help you stick to your diet, say no to temptation, and eat nourishing and satisfying foods. How? By replacing the negative spiral of thoughts in your mind with powerful, positive ones. But first you have to believe that it is possible to gain control over your thirsts, desires, and cravings. The first step in making a lasting change in your life is to make the commitment to success. Are you committed? Do you believe that you can overcome your cravings?

Once you’ve set your commitment in stone, you’re ready to learn the top 10 affirmations to get you through moments of weakness.

Top 10 Food and Nutrition Affirmations

Before reading the list below, you should know that affirmations are most successful when you internalize the saying and repeat it frequently. Whether you’re having a good or bad day, you need to be constantly repeating these positive statements in your mind. Temptation will strike when you least expect it, so it’s better to be prepared!

1. I can neutralize bad habits with good food, exercise, and healthy living.

2. I am proud to reach out to my support network instead of leaning on bad habits for comfort.

3. I am improving my lifestyle for me because I love me.

4. I set aside time just for me.

5. My good health and productivity are the rewards for the nourishing foods I eat.

6. Weight gain happens over time, so weight loss equally requires time, patience, and lifestyle changes.

7. I use self-care, not self-control.

8. The more I take care of myself, the better I feel.

9. I am firmly committed to staying active and healthy.

10. I deserve a healthy body and mind.

When you look at these food and nutrition affirmations, they may seem like ideals - behaviors and thoughts that you only wish you could have - but each time you reaffirm them by saying them aloud, you’re slowly changing your mindset. Over time, these ideals will become a reality through your thoughts and actions.

But remember, you must first believe you can change. Once you make the commitment to your success, you will change your attitudes about food and you’ll be thankful you did!

Five Steps to Finding a Great Virtual Assistant Thu, 04 Nov 2010 16:58:16 +0000 admin A good virtual assistant can be the answer to many business owner’s prayers. However, finding a good virtual assistant isn’t always easy. You want to find someone who can handle your tasks competently and professionally, who is easy to communicate with and, more importantly, charges rates you can afford. Here’s how to find a great virtual assistant.

Step One: Define what you need. Before you go on a hunt for someone to help you, determine exactly what you need help with. Each virtual assistant is going to have their own strengths. Some might offer a variety of services ranging from basic to quite technical and complicated whilst others may specialise in a specific industry or a specific type of service.

For example, one virtual assistant may specialise in editing, proofreading and transcription. Another may specialise in forum management or WordPress installation and general website maintenance. In order to determine who to hire, you need to first determine what you need them to do.

Step Two: Begin the search. In addition to perhaps posting the job on classified job sites, social networking sites and your own website, start searching. Ask associates who they recommend. Use a search engine to find service providers. Start gathering candidates for the position.

Step Three: Narrow the field. Once you have a list of candidates, start narrowing the field. Use references and recommendations to shorten the list. Consider speaking with the top candidates on the phone to find out how they work, what their policies are and to see how they communicate. Half of an effective relationship is communication. You must be able to clearly and effectively communicate with each other.

Step Four: Test the waters. Ask the top two or three candidates to manage a small project for you. The purpose of this is to essentially test how you work together, how the virtual assistant manages the project and their professionalism. If you end up with two or three perfect virtual assistants, that’s okay. You can then choose the one that offers the best rates or the one that you most connect with personally.

Step Five: Keep your new VA busy. Once you’ve found a great virtual assistant, or two, then keeping them busy is a great way to keep them loyal. Service providers need to keep their schedules full to keep their business alive. If they can count on you for a certain amount of work each week or month, they’ll make a consistent place in their schedule for you. This means you’ll be able to receive your projects on a timely, and consistent, basis. can provide a wide range of professional and affordable services for your business. A small network of associates can cover services from basic typing and transcription work, book-keeping and accountancy tasks, translations between most world languages, and website design, development and marketing.

Great virtual assistants can be difficult to find, so why not take a look at to start your very own search for that additional and affordable support your business needs.

Women Making Money Online Fri, 22 Oct 2010 13:20:10 +0000 admin The Internet offers many money-making opportunities. We can get some extra spending money by selling unused items, blogging part-time or doing affiliate marketing, or we can start a fully-fledged business online. It seems that new ways to make money online are cropping up every day.

Women are especially attracted to the possibilities the Internet offers. Some are true entrepreneurs who recognise the benefits on offer from doing business online, whilst others are mums who want to work but need a flexible schedule, or those with health issues that make it difficult or impossible to get a “traditional” job. Whatever the reason, more women are making money online than ever before.

There are numerous ways to earn money online and here are some of the many options available today:

* Ecommerce - Whether you sell at online auction sites or set up your own ecommerce store, selling online provides great income potential. With proper promotion of your site and/or products, you can sell almost anything online. Everyone with an Internet connection and a credit or debit card is a potential customer, so if you get the word out, you’re bound to find someone who needs or wants what you have to offer.

* Blogging - Many Internet users maintain blogs as a hobby, but did you know that you can make money blogging? You can sell advertising or promote affiliate products on your blog, and if you have a substantial amount of traffic, you can make good money.

* Internet marketing - Selling ebooks, software, and other downloadable products online is a great way to make money. It doesn’t require a large investment or much overhead, and you can get paid over and over again for one piece of work. Delivery can be completely automated, leaving you to handle little more than marketing and creating new products.

* Services - Selling services online has become a popular way for talented women to make money. Those with secretarial backgrounds often excel in virtual assistance. Cherchez owner, Helen Byrne, operates her own online business as a Virtual PA. See more details at Other talents that could make you money online include graphic design, proof-reading, photography and writing.

* Domaining - Buying and selling domains can be a very lucrative online business. The best domains have sold for millions. This is a rather tricky business these days, but if you can master it, the income potential is tremendous.

Starting a business online has proven to be an effective way for a woman to be her own boss and make a steady income. With all of the opportunities that are available today, almost any woman can find something to do online that she enjoys.

There’s no time like the present to jump on the Internet’s money-making bandwagon.

Cherchez Stockport Mon, 11 Oct 2010 12:06:29 +0000 admin Our monthly lunchtime events for Stockport take place at The De Vere Venues, Cheadle Royal Business Park.

This place really is a hidden gem!! Situated at the end of the Cheadle Royal Business Park, and with ample free parking, it’s the perfect venue for our Stockport meetings being just 10 minutes drive from the town centre.

Tea and coffee are included in the meeting cost and a variety of snacks can be purchased from the menu including soups at £3.95, simple seasonal leaves with a variety of extras from £3.50, a range of sandwiches from £4.95 or hot deli snacks from £6.50. A much wider range of food is also available.

By partnering with one venue, it’s simply a case of confirming the dates for the coming months, and then all you have to do is turn up! You will know exactly where you’re coming to, at what time and on what date every month. So much easier for you.

All the details you need are right here. Just use the buttons below to book your places and we look forward to seeing you very soon!


TIME: 12 noon till 2.00pm
VENUE: De Vere Venues, Cheadle House, Cheadle Royal Business Park, SK8 3FS
PHONE: 0161 492 1000
COST: £10 Members; £12.50 Non-Members - including tea, coffee & warm mince pie and cream



21st December 2012

“Fantastic, really enjoyed the talk by Mary. Very useful!”

Another successful meeting with the added bonus of a fantastic presentation from Mary Murtagh again. We had even more new faces attending this month so it all made for a very interesting gathering indeed. Most, if not all, attendees were able to identify something about their own business which was news-worthy and which hadn’t occurred to them previously! I know the ladies walked away with new inspiration in their clutches.

Cherchez Member, Alison O’Connell from The Naked Cupcake Company, was first out of the hat in the business card draw and so she walked away with a bottle of fizz in her clutches too! And a free place for next month’s meeting went to Danielle Mercer from Nomad Wines.


23rd November 2012

We enjoyed another great meeting at Stockport, even though numbers were down on last month. It certainly didn’t dampen spirits and I’m delighted to say that we had yet another couple of “newbies” there too.

After everyone had their 60 second introduction, chit-chat flowed freely amongst the ladies and those who wanted a quick snack were able to fit it in before we all took our places to focus on Heather’s presentation - “The Confident You” which was a fun, interesting and interactive session which resulted in some great feedback.

“Smaller group than last time but that made it more relaxed and I got longer to speak to folks. AMAZING talk from Heather.”

“Very friendly group and the presentation was excellent! Heading back to the office full of confidence and motivation.”

“Another enjoyable session, lots of great people to meet and a really useful presentation from Heather. Thanks.”

“I was made to feel very welcome and the speaker, Heather Gibbon, was very inspirational. I’m looking forward to getting to know the rest of the Cherchez regulars.”

A really great session concluded with the business card draw which, this month, saw Ruth Gaskins from McKellens Accountants skip away with the bottle of fizz, and Gillian Kitchen from The Change Agency grab a free place for next month. Congrats to both of you.


26th October 2012

WOW!! The feedback speaks for itself……..

“Brilliant session! Plenty of free-style networking time and an excellent talk”

“Great session, loved the informal networking, the 60 seconds and the presentation was really great - if a little short! Thanks very much and see you again soon”

“Excellent, thank you. Would like to come along again. Thanks”

“Excellent presentation. Another great opportunity to network”

“First visit - really welcoming and friendly”

“Very useful event. Liked the friendly and informal approach and a good balance of professional input. Loved Anna’s presentation. Thank you.”

“Good atmosphere. Good speaker. Perhaps shorten pre-speaker networking time so there is more time to network after speaker as well”

The De Vere at Cheadle Royal is proving to be a brilliant venue and the staff are extremely polite and helpful. Anna Bennett from Hallidays Accountants gave a smashing presentation, but we sadly came to the end of the session too quickly!! There was a lot of pad and pencil action anyway and we will hopefully entice Anna back in the Spring to share more of her wisdom with us. This month’s business card draw saw a very happy Gillian Kitchen from The Change Agency skip out with the bottle of fizz, and new-comer Charlotte Shaughnessy from MLP Solicitors got herself a free place for November’s event on 23rd. Thanks to all who came along and made this such a successful event.


28 September 2012

“Excellently organised! Plenty of time to network and useful information from the guest speaker. Thank you!”

“it was my first visit to this group and I found the group really welcoming. This is a really great opportunity to meet people from other businesses. Thank you for the opportunity….”

“Found the HMRC rep very helpful and gave me some great advice”

“HMRC input was very informative”

“Really interesting session…….”

Yes, it really was a fantastic meeting and the momentum is building again to make the Stockport events even better as we move into the Autumn/Winter programmes with some great guest speakers lined up.

This month we were joined by Declan Slattery from HMRC Business Education Team - yes, a real live gentleman!! Cherchez enjoys a good partnership with HMRC and Declan is the guy responsible for keeping us up to date with current news via the monthly Key Messages which we circulate on their behalf. Our ladies had plenty of time to quiz Declan and they were very impressed with his knowledge on a variety of subjects. He kindly complimented Cherchez on their dedicated page to HMRC Issues and reminded delegates of the vast amount of FREE Information that is available via the links on that page.

Unfortunately Amanda was delayed at a previous engagement and unable to make it to Stockport in time for her presentation. But don’t worry, we will be re-booking her in the New Year!

Fortunately, Declan was able to to step into the guest presenters spot to bring us up to date on the developments in Real Time Information. We’ll be getting more details on this important development in the New Year.

In the business card draw, new-comer Jenny Collins won a free place at next month’s event and lucky Sam Clifford waled away with the bottle of fizz. Well done both of you!


13th July 2012

The first of our regular meetings at Cheadle was a real success, thanks to the attention of the De Vere staff and also in a very large part to Louise Magill who gave us a thought-provoking insight into the work of “After Adoption”. Louise stopped us all dead in our tracks as we began to understand the complexities associated with the adoption process. There is just so much going on behind the public perception of adoption that we don’t realise. Louise is striving to heighten public awareness and is encouraging local businesses to get involved with the charity which will prove beneficial for all concerned. A truly inspiring session!

You can catch Louise’s presentation again at our Manchester meeting in September - do try and get there if you can.

A fitting end to the day saw Louise go away with a free place for herself and a colleague at a future event and also Cherchez regular Sue Southern had a grand start to her weekend winning the bottle of fizz (again!!). Cheers Sue…………


22nd June 2012

We were invited back to SAS Daniels again this month where another few new faces joined us for the first time. Numbers were a little disappointing, though the comments below speak for themselves….

“Very enjoyable and informative.”

“My first event and I really enjoyed it. Lovely relaxed atmosphere and met some genuinely friendly ladies.”

“A Great way to meet people and develop business relationships.”

“Thanks! Enjoyed it. Look forward to the group growing.”

Angela Brown from SAS Daniels gave us a really interesting presentation on residential property conveyancing. She highlighted the do’s and dont’s when buying or selling a property and gave us some really useful hints and tips to help us through the minefield when we next decide to make a move, using real stories from her own experiences. It certainly provoked some interesting questions afterwards.

In the business card draw, Angela walked away with the bottle of fizz for the weekend which was very appropriate, and first-timer Denise Jones from Hallidays won a free place for next month’s meeting at our brand new partner venue, the De Vere Cheadle Royal.

Why not join us there on 13th July?


25th May 2012

With our first visit to the De Vere Venues Cheadle Royal came the sunshine and a definite yearning from all the ladies to dine al-fresco. After a brief introduction from all the ladies present, we tucked into a delicious assortment of sandwiches, some tasty chicken kebabs, chunky chips and some yummy cakes too. Jugs of iced water and cordial were very popular and regularly replenished too, thanks to the delightful staff at the hotel.

After a range of lively discussions, the business card draw resulting in the following winners: Rebecca Stevens recieves a free place at next month’s event; our regular attendee Sue Southern received a really good bottle of bubbles for the weekend and relative newbie Marketa Krzokova was the lucky winner of a voucher from the hotel for Dinner, Bed and Breakfast for Two.

The venue was great, and the staff were polite and helpful, and I’m really looking forward to our new partnership with the hotel.

In the meantime, here’s what some of the ladies had to say about the meeting………..

“Lovely venue, great food and fab company”

“Fun - nice and relaxed. I was a bit surprised there was no presentation but in a way it made it easier to chat and get to know people”

“Fab venue, great food and fantastic company”

“Lovely company, location, food, weather and conversation”

“Lovely event. I’m sure it will reap rewards even more than it has already!”

20th April 2012

April’s meeting was held at Edgeley Park and was well attended with a diverse mix of businesses being represented. The guest speaker was Jane Vigon of Renaissance Training who is a clinical hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner; she demonstrated a technique for dealing with phobias which included getting all of the ladies to sing along to the ‘Shaun the Sheep’ theme song! Jane left us all feeling very relaxed and contented after her session.


23 March 2012

The March meeting was kindly hosted by Babs Golden of HSBC in Stockport town centre. We had a fantastic, informal but highly informative talk about all aspects of banking including mortgages, SIPPs, loan applications, business banking, credit ratings and security. Babs demonstrated her expert knowledge and made several very generous offers of help to the ladies in the room.

The free place at the next meeting was won by Rebecca Stevens of Work Brighter, and the bottle of fizz went to Audra McKeller of APS Legal & Associates.

As has become customary, the feedback was as positive as ever……..

“Another fabulous meeting and thanks to Babs for all the advice!”

“Fantastic venue, lovely lunch and a very friendly meeting”

“Thank you for making me feel so welcome!”


24 February 2012

“Absolutely great, open atmosphere, wonderful food, very informative presentation.”

“Very informative and an enjoyable event, thanks!” – Dianna Denniston, Beever and Struthers

February’s meeting was hosted by Cherchez regular Carly Borne from Gorvins Solicitors in Stockport. There was a great turn-out with nearly twenty ladies in attendance who all enjoyed the fantastic buffet lunch from Sillis and an informative and interactive presentation from Carly and Danielle about contracts. All the ladies enjoyed the quiz about old laws that are still in place, and it definitely wasn’t a fix when Helen Jones won the bottle of wine for the highest quiz score!

Carly presented eloquently about a difficult and emotive topic, in a language that we all understood, and demonstrated her knowledge and expertise in this area.

The bottle of fizz was won by Carla Baumgardt and the free place at the March event was won by Catherine Allen from SAS Daniels.

“Excellent location, food and presentation. A lovely lively group of ladies.” – Sue Southern, Ithaca Photography

“Fun presentation & quiz, good food.”

“Very enjoyable for my first Cherchez event.”


27 January 2012

It was a pleasure to be back at Hallidays again for the first meeting of 2012, where Anna and the team made the Cherchez feel very welcome, as always. The delegates, both old and new faces, enjoyed a delicious light lunch with plenty of networking time and lots of new contacts were made. Anna’s presentation went down a storm and I think the feedback speaks for itself!

“Excellent! I’ve got some much needed new ideas” – Jane Vigon

“Very well presented event”

“Very useful”

“Very good presentation some useful tips” – Kate Millett

“Great venue, welcoming, relevant business presentation” – Louise Barson

“Excellent presentation by Anna & very friendly group”

“Vey informative & inspiring session. Great to meet new people.” – Dee Jones

“Very useful to build network & confidence and to help focus” – Alison O’Connell

“Great presentation, useful hints & tips”

“Really enjoyed the meeting today. Everyone was friendly and the presentation was very interesting. representatives from Hallidays were very professional.” – Simone Berisford-Ince

“Excellent, great mix of businesses” – Sharon Lomas

Come and join us in February to experience our next Cherchez event!


Women Mentoring Women in Business Sun, 03 Oct 2010 17:35:01 +0000 admin Starting up in business is exciting, but it can also be a bit scary. You’re sailing out into uncharted waters, and even if you’ve taken all the courses and read all the books, some things are best learned by experience. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave these things completely to trial and error.

Seeking feedback and advice from fellow businesswomen can be a huge help to entrepreneurs who are just starting out. By finding yourself a mentor, you give yourself the opportunity to learn from someone who has been there, done that. You can benefit from her experience, avoiding common mistakes and learning the tricks and tips to running a successful business.

Why a Woman Mentor?

It’s a known fact that women do business differently from men. The sexes tend to have different strengths and weaknesses from each other, as well as a different overall approach. That’s not to say that men and women in business have nothing in common, just that they don’t necessarily run their businesses in the same way.

Working with a female mentor offers several advantages. These include:

• Women have historically experienced the hurdles associated with becoming a successful female in business. Although women now make up a significant portion of business owners, it hasn’t always been that way. Society once frowned upon women who chose to work - never mind set up their own business - when they should have been at home tending to the needs of the family. As a result they faced obstacles that were not an issue for men.

• A female mentor can be a great source of inspiration. We’re all aware of the “big guys” who have built successful business empires, but women who have made it to the top are in relatively short supply. When the going gets tough, your mentor will serve as a living, breathing example that you can succeed.

• Women may be more likely to help you with the basic needs of a budding entrepreneur. For example, tips for a low-cost business wardrobe and accessories, help with sourcing childcare to suit your own needs, recommending a Virtual Assistant to help with your business systems set-up. So-called “little things” such as this are more likely to seem alien to a businessman.

Where to Find a Mentor

Many entrepreneurial women like the idea of having a mentor but don’t know how to go about finding one. They don’t just fall out of the sky, after all. But finding someone to help you along on your own journey is easier than you might think.

One of the most effective ways to find a mentor is through networking and if it’s a female mentor you’re looking for, then clearly a Womens Networking Group would be the best place to start. Cherchez Networking is a growing community in the North West of Enland offering regular, informal networking sessions for women in business. Your local Chamber of Commerce is also a good place to seek out the right contacts. You can also meet fellow businesswomen at trade shows, and you can connect with them via online networking groups. Give it a go and find someone you click with, then you will hopefully feel comfortable enough to ask if she would be willing to give you some support and advice.

A mentor can be a major boost to your business efforts. By exploring the benefits of Networking with other women, you may well find a fellow female business woman who is willing to help you for very little - or more often, no cost to yourself.

Find our more about Cherchez Networking’s forthcoming events HERE.

Mum-preneurs on the increase Thu, 02 Sep 2010 13:27:13 +0000 admin Motherhood is certainly a life-changing event. Our children become the centre of our lives, and we must make adjustments to make sure they’re cared for. Instead of arranging childcare in order to go out to work, more and more mums are choosing to start their own businesses so they can be there for the children and still contribute to the family income.

Self-employment offers a certain amount of flexibility, but in most businesses, a certain amount of time outside the home is required. Alternatively, you might need to meet with clients in your own home, and this can be rather inconvenient especially when there are small children around.

So what’s the answer? Well, more and more mums are looking for opportunities to make money online.

Starting an online business has a number of advantages for mums. These include:

• Start-up costs for an online business are often low. So even if you are not currently working outside the home, starting an online business is usually within reach. Setting up a website and buying some software is often all that’s needed to get started, and that can cost as little as a few hundred pounds, of even less.

• Doing business online doesn’t require you to keep regular hours. You can work early in the morning before the kids get up, during the baby’s nap, or late at night when everyone is in bed. And with the technology that the Internet has to offer, orders can be processed and virtual products delivered while you’re sleeping or taking care of the kids.

• You can get some work done with the kids right by your side. Older children may even be able to help you with simple tasks. For more information on this visit

There are all sorts of online businesses that are great for mums. You could sell your own crafts on eBay, start your own ecommerce website or you could create and sell information products. You could become a Virtual Assistant offering services such as writing, copy or audio-typing, web design and marketing to clients around the world. (Visit to see a good example). Register your details with online Survey companies such as IPSOS or the UK Survey Panel and earn cash or incentives helping the big corporates with market research activities. Even blogging offers impressive money-making potential.

The possibilities are endless, and there’s sure to be something out there for everyone that fits the bill.

Mums make up a large portion of the people who are making money online. This allows them to take a hands-on approach to raising their children while still making money to support the household. They don’t have to count on a sitter to take care of their children’s needs, and they don’t have to make a commute part of their daily routine.

It’s really no wonder that the number of mums starting online businesses is growing in leaps and bounds.