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Entrepreneur Mike Southon Launches “Beermat Mondays” With Wandsworth Chamber
Fun, free event for business networkers
A new networking event, “Beermat Mondays” launched this June. Held on the first Monday of every month. Metrobank sponsored the first one on 5th June, hosted by the Revolution Bar in Clapham Junction. Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve Pinto introduced the event, as well as a new added benefit for Wandsworth Chamber Members: Advantage – discounts on a wide range of business products and services, including fuel, office space, insurance, energy and telecoms savings. He said, “When you join the Chamber, the benefits from Advantage will far outweigh the cost of membership, so it's a terrific new opportunity for everyone.”
In his down-to-earth manner Mike Southon, serial entrepreneur and co-author of the bestselling book, The Beermat Entrepreneur, said, “What happens on Beermat Mondays? Generally nothing happens, you get a sticker, put your name on it, buy a beer and talk to people.” He emphasises that networking and linking up with people who can help you is essential to successful entrepreneurship.
Metrobank recently opened up in a great location on the corner opposite. Originally they had some difficulty finding an appropriate spot, and Steve Pinto used his contacts to assist them in getting the right place for their new bank branch. Mike Southon recommended their efficient services – he was sceptical that he could go into a branch and come out in an hour with a working debit card – so he tested it, found it was true, and since then has banked with them.
Mike continued, “Carry on drinking. Come to me for free advice. It may be rubbish, but at least it's free!” to a burst of laughter.
The Advantage programme was officially launched – find out more about it here: http://advantage.wandsworthchamber.org/wandsworth-chamber-2/
Mike outlined his philosophy of entrepreneurship: it is social, so the metaphor is you go down to the pub and write your idea on a beermat. “It's all about doing business face-to-face, simple elevator pitches, keeping it simple and social. It's a relaxed and informal way of meeting people, and finding business.” He sees it a social lubricant to business and entrepreneurship. He is very strong on coaching and mentoring, “Everybody needs good advice and everybody needs a coach. It is absolutely vital. If you have a business idea, a good coach will put you through a process, and get you to where you want to be.”
“You can talk to all sorts of different mentors – some can be technical, some can be “who should I speak to” and some can be philosophical - “meaning of life things” - something isn't going right for you. He believes that mentoring is the most important factor for success as an entrepreneur, the difference between having a good idea, and actually realising it.”
What does he get out of his mentoring and coaching? “It makes me happy and I feel I am doing some good.”
The next Beermat Monday is on July 3rd, from 6.30 pm at Bar Revolution, Clapham Junction, 276-288 Lavender Hill, London SW11 1LJ.