Local councils often get a bad press these days and I thought I would tell you about something positive. Mansfield and Ashfield District Councils joined together to form the Entrepreneurs' Forum. It has been going for a couple of years and I have been going since late 2013.
They find an expert in a given area that is connected with small business and that person gives a talk for about an hour and a half. This is preceded by either breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on the time of day for the talk.
The subjects are wide-ranging and this year's have included, social media, problem solving, debt recovery and marketing. I have to say, that each one has been very interesting Like many small business owners, I work alone and this can mean that you get stuck in your ways and creativity can be stifled.
These talks have been just the tonic for me as I have found them stimulating and they have helped me make positive changes in my own business.
Becoming self-employed often turns you into someone who finds it difficult to take advice. Somehow it can hurt your pride as you become so used to being self-reliant. But keeping an open mind can be a real eye-opener and I was surprised how much I learned at these forums despite being a "seasoned campaigner".
The Entrepreneur's Forum is free and food is supplied appropriate to the time of day. The meals are generally simple and fresh. Just what you need bearing in mind they take place at breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is ideal as it saves you from taking too much time out during the working day.
It is also a great place to meet other like-minded people and share thoughts and ideas and if your business is selling to other businesses like mine, it is a great networking opportunity.
I thoroughly recommend attending this event if you are your own boss and live in the area (the meetings are held in Kirkby-in-Ashfield).
So hopefully see you there!