Avanti Networking members celebrate a bumper 2018

Avanti Networking members celebrate a bumper 2018

The team at Avanti are proud to see year on year growth for their networking groups, and 2018 has seen them launch in Norwich and Tonbridge, with further groups planned for Dartford and Wolverhampton in December.

Felixstowe will launch in January, with Colchester and Tuddenham following in Spring 2019.  Here Victoria Sharp, Managing Director of Avanti (who were named as shortlisted finalist in the AAT Professional Member Awards 2018) reflects on what has been a bumper year for their members.

Networking isn’t just a numbers game though and Avanti Networking ensures that while their meetings are busy, with a packed agenda, and a vibrant atmosphere, members are of a high calibre, with industry leaders, forward thinking start-ups, and many an award winner among them.

Victoria Sharp, MD of Avanti explains, “Networking is more than taking from a group, for Avanti members, it is about helping each other to grow, be better, be stronger and be recognised. We are so proud and grateful to have such a mix of industries represented that are tasting success”

Victoria adds “A Networking group is only as good as its members, and we really are fortunate to have an incredible mixture of members who all bring something different to the group and seeing such a high number of award winners is the icing on the cake for us. Our membership is wonderfully varied, canine creches, beauty therapists, photographers, solicitors, HR, holistic therapists, florists, a chocolatier, a wine merchant and of course accountants, all currently hold Avanti membership, there really is something for everyone.”

Suffolk Canine Creche Group Director Candace Rose explains what it is that this unique business offers that led to her scooping the; Pet Industry Federation; Pet Service Business of the Year; National Winner; Archant EADT Business Awards Medium Business Runner Up and Showcasing Excellence Runner Up:

“Luxury day care for your dog in 15,000 sq ft of customised Creche. Unkennelled with oodles of toys and activities and excellent staff to dog ratios.  Other services include sleepovers in our hotel, grooming in Fluff The Ruff, Puppy Parties, Swim Club and Nanas who come to your home for waking and sitting”. Candace networks with Avanti because “We choose to network with Avanti and have done for many years as critically we can prove ROI, the variation in businesses is at the best levels and we have built relations with the people and companies. They are our “go to” list first for suppliers and can bring many new suggestions from different viewpoints.”

Four-time award winning Canine Creche Group franchisee (including Oct 2017 Bury Free Press Best New Start Up, January 2018 National Apprenticeship Awards Top 100 employer 2017) Bury St Edmunds member Jon Kay, explains why he also networks with Avanti:

“Avanti has always been a warm welcoming environment that provides a supportive group of like-minded people to help your business grow.”

Victoria explains, “For me, it’s not simply a case of running the meetings, it is practising what I preach, and personally I can proudly say that I either have a mutual working relationship and strategic partnerships, use members as suppliers, or I am able to refer  approximately 80% of our members on a regular basis – this is the true power of networking”

Your Telemarketing Director, Laura Morrison (FSB Employer of the Year Finalist; BFP Business Leader of the Year Finalist; IOD Eastern Region Innovation Director of the Year Winner), also chooses Avanti for her business networking and tells us why Avanti’s ethos is the very attribute that encouraged her to join:

“We work with Avanti to grow our business brand, build our network and to educate around the effective use of telemarketing. We are passionate about supporting SME businesses whether they outsource or keep in-house. Avanti match our own ethos around sharing and educating to help businesses grow with support from like-minded business owners.”

Spider, Fixed Fee Web Recruitment, are also among the industry heavyweights that have added Avanti to their marketing mix, members since 2013, the recruitment company with legs have developed an innovative approach to candidate attraction and online job advertising using awesome technology, multiple job boards and a knowledgeable team. Their core, fixed-fee advertising service offers an alternative to traditional recruitment agencies, having recognised that recruiting can be costly, frustrating and time consuming for businesses of all sizes. In 2018 alone, Spider have won:

  • East Anglian Daily Times Small Business of the Year 2018;
  • East Anglian Daily Times 3rd Place Overall Business of the Year 2018;
  • Managing Director Michelle Pollard has been named Institute of Directors SME Director of the Year 2018 in the East of England

“We are proud to be a part of a supportive network of like-minded business people, who offer a wealth of experiences and advice to myself and my team. The members of Avanti are people who I value the opinions of, and I have been fortunate enough to develop some very meaningful relationships with those in my groups.” – Michelle Pollard Spider, MD

Among others, our congratulations go to Utility Warehouse, Red Cactus Media Ltd, Gatehouse Charity in Bury St Edmunds and Christies Care Ltd.

Victoria expands on the value of business relationships, “As Michelle has mentioned, we see a huge number of genuine relationships across our network, this is, in our opinion, the key to networking successfully and why Avanti works. When one of our members wins an award, everyone feels immensely proud, we all get to share in the moment with that individual and toast their success”

Ultimately there are too many to mention. Whether you’re a startup or an established business looking to grow your professional networks, Avanti offers you the perfect platform to showcase what you do, time to build relationships, and grow personally and professionally. For more information on networking with Avanti, contact Sharon.baker@avantigroup.uk.com

As they look forward to 2019, Avanti would like to thank all their members for their contributions, support and renewals and congratulate each and every one of the winners and runners up.