We are a people business and we love sharing your experiences. The following is a selection from Sterling Network Group members, Sterling Business Show exhibitors, speakers and delegates proving how beneficial taking part in Sterling really is.
Based in Stroud, now with a team of 20, Welcome Telecoms has an outcome-focused approach to providing telecoms solutions for businesses, with the minimum of hassle. They are particularly good at connecting multisite businesses, and setting up business continuity systems. Welcome Telcom has acquired some household-name clients, and performs better than far larger competitors! MD Duncan Laker is also justifiably proud of their customer service, believing "all customers are lovely", and all deserve the same touch.
Duncan attended Sterling's business show in Bristol with a view to meeting people and possibly developing working partnerships.
Now a member, he not only exhibits but also sponsors the shows. He has been impressed with how Sterling's team "really think about what people want to get out of it, and make it happen. That's why it works for me." As everything is giving him "a decent ROI", Welcome Telecoms is now hosting a golf event for Powered by Sterling. As he puts it, "with Sterling you meet serious people."
It was at that first show, in a speed networking session, that Duncan met Liam Pearce, an IT expert. Rapidly realising the mutual benefits of their services, Liam is now a partner business, referring people to Duncan for their telecoms needs. The referrals work the other way too! Other similar partnerships have also developed. Such partnerships enable Welcom Telecoms to focus on their core business.
Summing up Sterling, Duncan declares "it proves that 2 + 2 = 5, or even more!"
...with Sterling you meet serious people.
Liam Pearce's IT business is growing, especially since 2012 when he set up as Pearce IT; the clients he supports are growing too! With 20 years' experience in IT, he still gets a kick out of seeing his solutions really benefit clients, such as when the online backup system kicked in to rescue a company after a calamity, getting them working again within 24 hours.
Liam joined Sterling's Gloucester group, looking to increase brand awareness and be accessible to people, and loves the "ethos" of Sterling. Members are from businesses that "want to grow and want to engage" and Sterling helps them do this. Liam's "longest lasting contacts and referrals are made from introductions through Sterling members".
Liam's special concerns are business continuity systems and connecting multisite operations, just like Duncan Laker of Welcome Telecom. They met via speed networking at a Bristol Sterling business show, fi nding their businesses dovetailed. Now Liam refers those of his clients that need VOIP to Duncan, and also looks after Welcome Telecom's own IT requirements as well as those of its clients.
In Liam's view, being a member of Sterling is "something to be proud of, something prestigious, ...almost like an accreditation".
Gerald Crittle heard about Sterling by accident. A car accident. He crashed into Tracey Davis in a car park, and she invited him to a Sterling breakfast meeting! Since the car park incident, Gerald has joined the Cheltenham group and often visits other groups. He speaks at the business shows too.
With G Acceleration, Gerald improves the efficiency of businesses by making use of technology. He has a unique combination of business experience at a senior level, knowledge of procedures and methods, and familiarity with available technology.
G Acceleration implements business efficiencies, freeing up time for development and growth, and Gerald finds their transformations "from stuck to streamlined" very satisfying.
After meeting Gill Smith of The Business Kitchen at the Cheltenham group, they quickly found they weren't rivals but could complement and support each other's businesses. Gill has helped Gerald clarify the different strands of his business, and together they are developing joint workshops as well as sharing information and leads.
Gerald highly recommends Sterling as he has been given lots of ideas and suggestions, as well as introductions. He says "the team really care about their members, treating them all equally, and work hard to promote their businesses, for example on social media". His expectations have been exceeded by the supportive and collaborative approach of Sterling, far broader than in other networking organisations.
He is also impressed by the professionalism of people in the room, and the support he has received from within the group.
The fortnightly pattern is just right.
Sterling members are heart-centric businesses that genuinely understand how powerful collaboration can be.
Gill Smith of The Business Kitchen heard about how different Sterling was to other networking groups. Intrigued by it being "all about the members", she went along to the Cheltenham group and promptly joined. She was initially hoping just to make some contacts in the room, but has filled most of their first three business training courses through Sterling, which is an exceptional result!
Gill now regularly particulates in Sterling's business shows, with a pop-up Business Kitchen. The Business Kitchen has achieved "brilliant exposure" at these shows, and the Sterling membership is a great source of experts.
Here's an example of how Sterling "puts members first ... [and is] genuinely caring": Gill had an accident shortly before one of the shows, so the team set up and ran her stand for her. They not only "bring their values to the business" but also "work hard for us" with great "commitment, enthusiasm and energy".
On meeting Gerald Crittle of G Acceleration at Sterling Cheltenham, Gill says, "it seemed likely we were competitors but once we had a 1 to 1 it became clear that there were some great collaboration opportunities". Gerald now talks about technology efficiencies in Business Kitchen workshops and they are developing some interesting ideas for the future, including joint workshops and joint venture opportunities.
Gill highly recommends Sterling, for its values - integrity and professionalism. Sterling members are "heart-centric businesses that genuinely understand how powerful collaboration can be". They attract other "quality, professional businesses [that] you know will deliver".