A question I get asked all the time is “what is Your Business Hub all about then? What does it do??”
So this is the story of the original Business Hub, how it came about and what it does.
Many years ago I was a lonely young business owner in Farnham struggling along trying to develop and sell my ground breaking sportswear business.
At the time I was fascinated by the idea of entrepreneurship and trying to learn everything about it myself from books and by trial and error. But it wasn’t easy! I kept thinking ‘Wow this is hard! Why is it so tough? What could I do to make it easier?’
I did well for a while but gave up in the end and sold that business because I couldn’t cope with the workload and the stress. I was drowning in ignorance and overwhelm! Looking back I can now see that I had a really good business but I didn’t know how to build on what I had. I had a great idea and loads of drive and enthusiasm but hardly any actual business skills
I thought “what if I could go out and make friends with other people who had done this already?” None of my family and friends were business owners. I just didn’t know any. I didn’t want networking; I wanted real, meaningful supportive relationships with other people like me. Then I wouldn’t have to keep reinventing the wheel every day. But I couldn’t find what I needed. Existing business groups seemed to be for men in suits rather than people like me, and anyway most networking took place in the early morning (I had two small children so that was impossible).
I went back to work for a few years but kept thinking about my idea.
The Your Business Hub Concept
I dreamt of a place where I could meet up with other business owners regularly in a social, informal environment and learn from their skills and experience. Somewhere where skilled and experienced business people would freely mix with enthusiastic start-ups and any business owners who wants to increase their knowledge.
I came up with the Hub concept in 2013 and the Farnham Hub was born. We meet every Friday morning – a great mix of all kinds of business people – some there to learn, some there to teach, some to get motivated, and some to be inspired. Everyone enjoys the coffee, banter and camaraderie, and people comment each week that they always leave a Hub feeling a bit more upbeat about their business and a bit more in control
The structure is pretty simple. Our Hubs are ‘pop up’ – they occupy unused space in restaurants, pubs and clubs on a weekday morning often in return for publicity, footfall and promotion.
Each Hub is a profit making business itself, and does not rely on funding. Hub owners are both experienced business owners and confident facilitators. They make sure all the members feel included and supported. They spot potential connections and collaborations and keep an eye on business opportunities in their town. They are available to give practical advice and emotional support.
Being in business for yourself is challenging. It can be lonely and frustrating. There is so much to do and so much to learn. Often there is no one to ask for advice. We aim to put that right! What every business owner needs is a genuine and honest community. A place where people will tell you how it really is because they’re not there to sell to you or buy from you, but to learn from you and give you advice.
There are many communities to choose from online. But you cannot beat piling into a room full of friendly faces one morning a week for that feel good fix of ‘people like me’.
If you would like to find out more about our Hubs or explore starting a Your Business Hub in your town, get in touch with me here.