For: Business Referral Exchange

Networking release sparks cash scramble

Networking group launch attracts AMEC billions

The official launch of a new business-networking group in Bolton has attracted a senior manager from a local company that has landed a huge rebuilding contract in Iraq. The Business Referral Exchange (BRE), which uses word of mouth as a tool for its members to attract new business, will launch at the Old Links Golf Club on 21 May.

The main speaker at the event, from 12 to 2pm, will be Lincoln Shields, Associate Director of AMEC Group plc, based in Chorley, which has won a civil-engineering project in Iraq worth +1.1bn. The good news for local businesses looking for spin-offs is that there are still around 40 places available at the event. Each attendee will be given 10 seconds to speak about their business.

The Bolton branch of the BRE now has 12 members, the number needed to become a fully fledged group. However, the group is still looking for around a dozen new members, to increase its effectiveness.

The BRE differs from other networking organisations, in that group members work as a team to generate business for each other. At weekly breakfast meetings, members get to know each other’s businesses and pass on ‘referrals’ based on word of mouth. The BRE allows only one member of any discipline in the group, to eliminate competition or dissent.

Tony Acheson, Chairman of Bolton BRE and Technical Sales Director at Wallace Printers, said: “We are looking to grow to around 25 members and have formed our own committee. New members give a short presentation, and hopefully there is someone who is able to help them or can put them in touch with someone who can. It is increasing business growth by increasing the number of contacts each member has.”

Ed Nash, BRE Regional Partner, added: “We’re working on the basis of trust, in that when I get to know you, I trust you. So, if I put a contract your way, it is similar to the way you might ask a friend or neighbour to recommend something to you.”

The Bolton branch of the BRE meets every Friday at 7.15am at Old Links Golf Club, Chorley Old Road, Bolton. Anyone interested in joining or attending the official launch should phone Ed Nash on 01772 811700.

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