Meeting Wednesday 2nd April
15 Minute Speaker
Post meeting ponderings ...
Our biggest meeting yet saw 39 people booked in! Our Chairman did well to keep us all to schedule and still allow everyone their time to pitch and appreciate e.g. Jon Collacott of Vale Garden Services announced that his work had increased significantly as a result of making contacts through EBBX. Others said it was the best networking group around and Jo Reynolds from the Western Gazette is keen for us all to vote it business of the year which you can do through the following link - www.westerngazette.co.uk/businessawards.
Stephen Rendall of Ian Rendall & Co. completed his half marathon on behalf of Weldmar Trust in Yeovil last weekend in less time than he anticipated and the Western Gazette was there to record the moment in print. Congratulations Stephen. We heard that both Martyn Powell and Michael Spencer were also running.
A warm welcome to our new members:
- Simon Barber of Filofile
- Emma Purcell of Octopus Recruiting
- Richard James of Solicitors Title
We enjoyed the company of the following guests, five of whom have expressed the wish to join the group, that will take us to over 40 members in less than a year!
- Lizzie Neyland of Neylands Tonic
- Victoria Kenwright of Western Gazette
- Dean Wooldridge of DPW Plumbing & Heating
- Josie Sturgess Mills of JSM Photography
- Elle Gilpin of Orchid
- Roz Hartley of Auditel
- Philip Hall of Dorset First Aid
- Tom McDermot of Orchard Estate Agents
- Sarah Williams, UW Partner just visiting to see what networking is about
We very much look forward to welcoming them to the group. After that we might need to take a vote and see just how many people we are happy to have in the group before we just get too big for everyone to have their platform.
Our 2 speakers
James Oliver of Strategic Solutions - James had us in awe of his knowledge of the world of finance (not to mention his Iron Man feats) which many of us can fall foul of so easily, often when it is too late to recover from. His experience, knowledge and energy mean that one can ask no-one better how to protect and make the most of your family and business assets or those of your friends and how very lost the unknowledgeable can become.
The people he is looking for are as follows:
- Pension advice or reviews
- IHT reviews or investment advice on money that may not be working for them
- Mortgage advice
- Insurance advice, life cover, critical illness income protection
- Generic financial advice
If you are not sure about your position, best have a coffee with him and talk it through.
Alan Rooney of The Cultural Experience - some sobering words of wisdom from Alan had us all making notes but to avoid my forgetting anything he has supplied me with the following for you before you book your summer holiday.
Understand the nature of the travel products that you are buying and familiarise yourself with the financial protection required and offered.
- If it is flight only and you are purchasing from an airline or you are buying a single travel product (e.g. a ferry crossing) the only protection available via payment with a credit or debit card (see point 4 below). Some travel insurance policies will offer scheduled airline failure cover – check your policy before you book.
- If you are buying a flight and other travel product together, this is known as a flight-inclusive package and the travel company must have an ATOL. Therefore your travel company must issue you with an ATOL certificate when you make your deposit payment – more about ATOL here. The Cultural Experience holds ATOL T101533. If you are buying two or more travel products at the same time from the same supplier but which do not involve a flight, then this is still a package and under the Package Travel Directive must be protected – look out for AITO, TTA, tour operator failure insurance and other types of financial protection. If you book through an 'ABTA tour operator member' then ensure that it holds an ABTA bond (not all do). An 'ABTA travel agent member' acting as an agent relies on the financial protection of the tour operator whose product it is facilitating. Confused? See ABTA's own guidelines.
- Ask if you can pay by credit or debit card and be wary of any company who cannot or will not accept payment by this means. Credit cards offer security through Section 75 of the consumer credit act – the claim is made against the credit card. Visa and Mastercard debit cards, although not obligated under section 75, operate voluntary chargeback schemes to provide similar levels of protection – the claims is made against your bank. Beware of PayPal or other similar payment means as it is the payment to PayPal that will be covered, not the subsequent payment from PayPal. For more on this see here. However in the event that you tour operator fails whilst you are enjoying your holiday, you will be responsible for your own repatriation costs.
- The best form of protection is when your money is placed in an independently operated trust account, the operation and protection of which is guaranteed to be independent. The Cultural Experience is a TTA member U6964. Find out more about the TTA here.
- Check with ABTA, AITO, ATOL, TTA that the company that is supplying the service is actually a member of their association.
In short wherever your next holiday might be you should book with an ATOL holding Travel Trust Association member and pay them using your credit or debit card - belt, braces and rope around your trousers!
Oh and by the way, if you can let me have any introductions to teachers organising school trips, please put them in touch with us or at least steer them towards our website www.tceschooltrips.co.uk.
Social Event, brewery visit and dinner. May 14th.
Alan handed out application forms for the trip to the brewery which I have attached. He will need to know numbers and have payment in cheque by the end of April. The success of the trip will depend on a minimum of 25 people committing.
Draw - Paul Cooper won Helen Richards of The Ideas Studio offer of a free set of business cards for one of his customers.
Suzanne Norton of Back2Back complimentary Therapy offered a free Magnetic Pulse session for those who ran in the marathon.
Next Committee meeting scheduled for 30th April if you have any concerns please let Suzanne, Nick, Stephen, Martyn, Alan or myself know so it can be discussed on your behalf.
Both freebees were well received! I love the integrity and generosity within this group and by what was said this morning others do too. With that, have a great fortnight, I am looking forward to getting to know some of our newer members over a coffee, I hope you have some meetings lined up too.