NSW broker and Better Business Awards winner Louisa Sanghera reveals why she set up her own networking group in the North Shore.
Speaking on the Elite Broker podcast, Ms Sanghera said that the group was borne out of necessity, due to a lack of choice.
Ms Sanghera said: “I went to a few networking events in the city. When I was going to the networking events in the city, people would say: ‘Oh, whereabouts are you based?’ And I would say: ‘Turramurra’. And they would go: ‘Oh, where’s that?’ Nobody had a clue where Turramurra was. I’d go: ‘Up past Chatswood, towards Hornsby’, and I could see right away they weren’t interested.”
While the Zippy Financial founder eventually found a Business Network International (BNI) group near her, she realised that getting up early in the morning and hiring a babysitter to look after her children wasn’t sustainable in the long run, given the lack of leads she was getting back.
She added: “So, I just thought, you know what, I’m going to set up my own. So, I went around speaking to small business owners in the area, and I said: ‘If I organise something, would you come to it?’ I got a bit of interest and then I set up an event, and I managed to get 32 businesses to the first event, which I was really chuffed with… and so it’s just grown from there.”
Ms Sanghera said that the group, called Connect for Success, now has more than 1,000 people engaged and hosts coffee mornings every fortnight as well as larger events.
“For me, it’s just been a great way to really build my brand… All of us on social media, somebody will ask for somebody [in the] North Shore for a mortgage, and I just see all these business owners recommending me and going: ‘Louisa’s awesome. Use Zippy Financial’. So, it’s been great for me to build a brand and just to make connections. I’ve got some great friends out of it as well. It’s nice to actually give back…
“It’s a great way to build your business, to connect with people, to get people referring to you. For me, they’re my social group. I go out with them all.”
Ms Sanghera recommended that other brokers look to set up their own networking groups, adding that it “doesn’t have to cost you that much”, and many referral partners, such as accountants, are often willing to give up their time to speak for free.
“I just said to an accountant, well, you can run a workshop to educate the businesses. They come for an hour, they don’t have to pay anything. We just hire a room for $30. The accountant gives the free time, so it’s not costing a lot.
“It’s just a case of somebody taking the time to set it all up for a local business. The councils don’t seem to be prepared to do it, so it’s great that we can do that.”
Ms Sanghera’s Connect for Success group was awarded the Best Community Engagement Program award at the Better Business Awards 2018 earlier this year, while she was named Rising Star at the Better Business Awards NSW.
The broker is also a finalist at the Australian Broking Awards 2018 in the Rising Star category.
The national Australian Broking Awards is a not-to-be-missed event that recognises outstanding performance in the broking industry.
Taking place at a luncheon at The Star on Friday, 29 June, the awards recognise the nation’s top mortgage brokers and brokerages.
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[Related: Revealed: 2018 ABA finalists]