My Morning With BNI Olympians Lincoln

The old adage “it’s not what you know – it’s who you know” is quite often near the surface of any new business relationship, and for the dedicated members of BNI Olympians Lincoln, this adage only scratches the surface as to the roots of their success. Read on, as I attend their weekly meeting and witness “first hand” why so many businesses are eager for a coveted membership into their local BNI Chapter!

It was an early Wednesday morning. A crisp breeze chilled the air as I parked up at the Lincoln Hotel, the venue for this week’s BNI Olympians Lincoln meeting. I made my way towards the entrance carrying my camera bag and a few nervous butterflies.

I’m usually still in bed at this time of day. However it was actually pleasant to see the roads so empty on my drive in, and the morning sun still lazy in the sky. A quick check of the watch. 6:30am.

I walked up the entrance steps towards the hotel lobby and was immediately hit with the reassuring warm aroma of fresh coffee which coaxed me inside. I then received a friendly welcome greeting by two helpful and very awake BNI members who directed me to the stacked breakfast bar. Seriously, this breakfast bar had cereals, drinks, pastries, a full English on the go! Deciding it was still way too early for me, I played it safe with a coffee and began to mingle. Don’t worry breakfast bar, I’ll come back to you later!

Within minutes I was welcomed into conversations and began chatting with other members who business backgrounds varied dramatically. A plumber. A graphic designer. A joiner. An accountant. A personal trainer.

BNI Olympians Lincoln
BNI Olympians Lincoln

 

BNI or “Business Network International” is a global network of members divided up into local Chapters, and this weekly event was organised by the BNI Olympians Lincoln. Each chapter is made up of members who stem from unique business backgrounds sharing the drive to “refer” business to one another. The key aspect here is there is only ever one representative for a particular trade, so there is only one estate agent, one personal trainer, one electrician, and so on.

After some initial networking, I decided to filter through to the large open-space meeting room, decked out in BNI livery with tasteful place cards, notepads, and drinks laid out for each attendee.

BNI Olympians Lincoln Meeting

 

Slap bang in the middle of the room on display was a large transparent box, jammed packed with pieces of colourful paper which turned out to be the mass of “referrals” the Chapter had accumulated.

BNI Olympians Lincoln Business Referrals

 

It was quite impressive! Every one of those little pieces of paper represented someone’s time and effort to secure a warm introduction for a fellow BNI member, and the potential for new business.

Scanning around the empty room, I quickly realised that this isn’t just a run-of-the-mill networking meeting. BNI is well oiled machine for those serious about creating and nurturing new business relationships and opportunities in their local community.

I took a few photos and then waited for everyone to filter through and begin taking their seats.

BNI Olympians Lincoln

 

My Warranty Administration Services Ltd colleague Jo Rimmer, who is also the present BNI Olympians Lincoln Chapter Director headed the meeting and began proceedings. Going around the room, each Team Leader stood up and gave a short introduction as to their role within the Chapter. As well the key responsibilities that come with a BNI membership, some members undertake extra responsibilities such as meeting logistics, the welcoming and training of new members, and managing the chapter finances. Again, this is not your usual messy networking meeting where you’ll find little pockets of professionals nervously “milling around” holding a lukewarm coffee. BNI is a support infrastructure to help you gain new leads, and offer as much support and guidance to both you as a professional and your company.

The attraction for businesses to join their local chapter is not only the professionalism and resourcefulness to drive new referrals into the chapter, but also the extensive support framework, coaching, and inspiring “team camaraderie” which I witnessed first hand that bubbled throughout the meeting.

New members were introduced and even inducted into the Chapter that morning, being handed a very impressive welcoming pack, and a genuine reception from all those attending.

BNI Olympians Lincoln

 

Next was a feature 10-minute presentation by the “Finance Power Team” of the Chapter.  This comprised of an accountant, a property investor, a will writer, a conveyancer and a mortgage advisor. Taking an example, they illustrated how one simple enquiry can lead to a chain reaction of referrals within the chapter to help solve the customer’s problem.

It was a very slick demonstration to highlight not only the scope of resources available for any given situation, but also the fluidity of the team itself.

Finally as per every meeting, each member was then allowed to stand up and give their “60 Seconds”. A short blurb about themselves, their business, and most importantly who they are seeking a warm introduction to. It gives the other members a clear understanding of what each person is marketing for, so over the next week they can keep an ear to the ground for any possible business opportunities.

My colleague Jo gave me the reigns for this one and I nervously stood up and read aloud my prewritten “60 Seconds”. It was quite a buzz to represent Warranty Admin in this way, and request an introduction to one of our local motor dealers!

The BNI Olympians Lincoln Team
The BNI Olympians Lincoln Team!

 

After the meeting I took a couple of photos of all the members, and then we filed through back to the breakfast area where I took full advantage of the delicious pastries on offer! It was really nice to see that even after the formalities of the meeting, everyone remained behind to chat and share a few light conversations. You really got a sense of team, and a genuine enthusiasm for being a part of the BNI family.

BNI Olympians Lincoln

 

I started with an adage, and I’d also like to finish with one! A close acquaintance of mine once said “what goes around – comes around”, and those words will always ring true to me. From what I have witnessed, those words also ring true throughout BNI where each member through their own time and resources, endeavours to seek out new positive opportunities for their colleagues within the chapter.

Whether it’s a friend on Facebook reporting a faulty boiler, or an acquaintance whose business website needs a facelift, or a family member looking for a safe financial investment opportunity – knowing the right respected person for the job and having the confidence to stake your reputation upon that referral, has become a craft in itself. Referring new business within the BNI chapter is a mutual success based upon a respected code of ethics, an enthusiastic desire to chase new opportunities, and a respect and knowledge of each member’s strengths.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about my experience attending my local BNI chapter! If you’d like to learn more about BNI Olympians Lincoln, please contact Jo Rimmer on 01522 515603 or email jo@warrantyadmin.co.uk

 

Meet some of the BNI Olympians Lincoln Team!


Rebecca Brittain – Lincolnshire Media
“We can connect you to your customers locally through advertising on our websites. Reach over 25,000 people a day! Call us today on 01522 820000 & ask for Rebecca Brittain.”
www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk


Anton Fowler – Bubble. Design for Communication
“We are specialists in print and web, with  20 years of experience under our belts, we know what is possible. We work with you to understand where you want to go and what you’d like to achieve. Whatever you are looking for in your business, we can help you get more of it.”
www.theres-a-thought.com


Derri Coppin – EweMove Lincoln
“My name’s Derri, and as your local Estate Agent in Lincoln, I can help you get the best price for your property and make the process as smooth as possible for you along the way. I’m confident that I can help you sell your home fast so confident that I will guarantee to sell your home in 27 days or £1,000 off my fees (see full terms).”
www.ewemove.com/estate-agents/lincoln


Dave Orrey – Bastien Jack
“Bastien Jack are a Lincoln based, mid-sized (£5M – £10m) property development company of investment grade property. In addition to bank finance, we also help business’s and private clients achieve a secure decent yield by utilising their funds as part of our borrowing requirement via a crowdfunding mechanism.”
www.bastienjackhomes.com


Rosalind Treadwell – The Wrightsure Insurance Group
“Wrightsure is one of the country’s largest privately owned insurance brokers with offices in Fareham, Lincoln, Liverpool, London and Thurrock. We specialise in haulage, bus, coach and community transport. We also provide insurance for performers, theatre groups and local amateur dramatic groups. Wrightsure – ensuring your insurance is right for you.”
www.wrightsure.com


 

If you’d like to find out more about BNI where you are, please see the links below!

Telephone BNI UK:
01923 891 999

Email BNI:
bniuk@eurobni.com

Find your local BNI meeting:
http://www.bni.co.uk/findameeting.php


Thank you for reading this WAS Blog post on my experience with BNI Olympians Lincoln!

F1 – The 2015 Formula 1 Season So Far

Formula 1. The pinnacle of motor racing, and the showcase of the best drivers in the world, racing the best cars in the world. We decided to lightly delve into the world of F1 and begin delivering round by round reports of the action!

Some of us here in the office often talk about the racing events of the weekend, including the “goings on” in the world of F1! So we thought we’d start doing a little “round by round” summary of all the action, and maybe expand into the other racing spectacles in the near future including MotoGP, and the Isle Of Man TT which is presently underway as I type this!

 

  • F1 2015: Round 1 – Australia

Mercedes dominated the season opener by locking out the front row of the grid during qualifying, Lewis Hamilton took Pole position with Nico Rosberg over half a second down on his team mate in 2nd, and that’s pretty much how it stayed for the race.

Hamilton led all but one lap, which was when he completed his mandatory pit stop. The race finished with Hamilton in 1st place, and Rosberg in 2nd. Vettel, Massa, Nasr were 3rd, 4th, 5th respectively, and Riccardo passed the chequered flag a lap down in 6th place.

F1 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

 

  • F1 2015: Round 2 – Malaysia

Tyres played a big part in round 2. In qualifying the top 2 places were held by Hamilton and Vettel respectively, however this would be reversed by the end of the race. Mercedes opted to use the harder, but ultimately slower of the 2 tyre compounds available for most of the race, only swapping to the softer compound for a short stint, Ferrari on the other hand opted to use the soft compound for the majority of the race which ultimately ensured that Vettel won comfortably from Hamilton in second, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Bottas and Massa rounded out the top 6.

 

  • F1 2015: Round 3 – China

Following an impressive performance in the previous round it was expected that Ferrari would bring to fight to Mercedes again in China, sadly the challenge did not materialise, as the practise sessions went by it transpired that Mercedes were getting on top of the tyre degradation issues that had dogged them in Malaysia.

Qualifying was a fairly predictable affair with Hamilton taking pole position from Rosberg, Vettel was 3rd almost a second slower than Hamilton.

Sadly the race was also a fairly predictable affair with Hamilton winning comfortably from Rosberg, the final gap was down to less than a second however Hamilton was easily in control, keeping Rosberg at arms length all race, only increasing his pace when necessary, Vettel came home in 3rd, Raikkonen, Massa and Bottas rounded out the top 6 once again.

 

  • F1 2015: Round 4 – Bahrain

Round 4 would once again see Hamilton in control, he took pole ahead of Vettel and Rosberg respectively during qualifying.

Sunday’s action was “as you were”. Hamilton took control winning the race comfortably. Raikkonen took second place after Rosberg ran wide after suffering a brake issue on the penultimate lap, Bottas, Vettel and Ricciardo rounded out the top 6.

 

  • F1 2015: Round 5 – Spain

Round 5 would see a slight change in qualifying with Rosberg taking the pole on this occasion from Hamilton,  sadly as is the case with F1 in the modern era the race would pan out in a predictable fashion, Rosberg taking the chequered flag from Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen and Massa respectively.

 

  • F1 2015: Round 6 – Monaco

Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid in qualifying under the glamorous sunshine of Monaco. Hamilton taking pole from

Rosberg by a reasonable margin, the race however would prove to be somewhat controversial when after being in control for much of the race, Mercedes decided to pit Hamilton after a late safety car. This ensured that instead of Hamilton taking an almost certain win it was gifted to Rosberg, with Vettel picking up 2nd, Hamilton would come home in 3rd followed by Kvyat, Ricciardo and Raikkonen.

F1 Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren Honda

 

  • F1 2015: Round 7 – Canada

Race fans looking for excitement from round 7 of the championship were left disappointed. Canada did not deliver any real surprises. Qualifying followed the now familiar format of both Mercedes cars locking out the front row, Hamilton on pole with Rosberg second.

During the race, although I’m not sure “race” is an entirely accurate description but we’ll use it for now. During the race, Hamilton was in complete control as both leading cars were repeatedly told to ‘lift and coast’ to preserve fuel and brakes.

The race finished as predictably as it started with Hamilton taking a comfortable win, followed home by Rosberg, Bottas, Raikkonen, Vettel and Massa.

Excitement? Well a Groundhog  wandered onto the track midway through the action causing Felipe Massa to deviate ever so slightly offline to avoid a collision. Quite ironic really given the plot of the famous Groundhog related film and the predictability of the current F1 format.

Mr Groundhog

The next round of the F1 is the Austrian Grand Prix on June 21st, and we’ll include a race report in our next newsletter!


Thank you for reading this WAS Blog post on the latest Formula 1 2015 season! Header images credit thanks to First Stop, Mark Kent, and Micheal Elleray. Image credit Antonio Moles, and Todd Petit.

 

DVLA Bans Number Plates Because They’re Too Offensive

The DVLA has revealed more vehicle registration numbers that have been banned for use in the UK because they are considered offensive.

The bans also include plates that are deemed to have religious references, innuendos, and even drink related references, clamping down on those related to alcohol abuse such as SL05 HED and AL60 POP.

“There’s nothing scientific about it,” a spokeswoman told us. “A group of staff meets twice a year and looks at plates that could be seen as offensive. It’s all done by taste, and if some slip through and we get a complaint, we take the feedback on board.”

Auto Express decided to see which registration plates might have slipped through the DVLA taste test, and a few had clearly passed it by – such as TO62 POT, LO62 ERS and AR62 END.

The list doesn’t just include words the DVLA classes as rude. Anything that can be seen as racist, religiously offensive or even drug related is also unavailable. These include plates such as JE55 US, 15 LAM, OS55 AMA and even AD13 CTS.

Even drivers with creative imaginations investing in a private plate cannot slip by the clampdown! The DVLA’s powers stretch to what can – and can’t – be used on these, too. Here are a few examples of the number plates that have been vetoed by the DVLA in the past few years:

BU62 GER
SC12 OTM
DR12 UNK
LE61 ESS
LU61 FER
P15 OFF
PR15 SON
CR12 PLE
MU12 DER
SH12 HED
AS62 OLE
DR12 UGS
TO62 SER
RU13 BUM


Thank you for reading this WAS Blog post!
Information source via AutoExpress.

Potterhanworth To Paris Cycle Challenge Completed!

We recently blogged about our friends from Andrews Car Centre in Lincoln who were set to undertake a 500 mile cycle challenge from Potterhanworth to Paris, all in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support! Read on to find out about their amazing challenge!

Not long ago we covered news about our friends from Andrews Car Centre in Lincoln going that “extra mile” for a fantastic cause. Well, Michael Andrews and Lewis Robinson from Andrews Car Centre successfully completed a gruelling cycle journey from Potterhanworth in Lincolnshire, to the heart of Paris to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. That’s an amazing 500 mile journey!

andrews-charity-bike-ride-potterhanworth-to-paris

 

The Cycle Challenge Diary

What started as a few drunken ideas, turned into a fantastic charity event raising over £3,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Day 1
Lewis and Michael set off from Potterhanworth waved off by a group of well wishers and moved on to their first destination of Peterborough.

Day 2
On the second day the support team joined the event and planned to meet the cyclists at their second meeting point of Enfield in Greater London. It was meant to be very simple, but turned out to be quite testing for the lads due to having navigation issues.

Day 3 & 4
13 year old Adam joined the lads to cycle through London and he would stay with them until the end point in Paris. They cycled past many of the iconic buildings in London and took in all of the sights a long the way.

Day 5
By day 5 the lads were in Brighton, and the distance they had cycled was beginning to take its toll of them as they looked completely shattered whilst taking a pit stop along the way.

Day 6
The team had made the journey across the ferry and into France! They had new challenges ahead of them and we’re trying their best to keep to the cycle routes but it wasn’t easy. They stopped in the beautiful town of Forge-les-Eaux.

Day 7
This was one of the most challenging days for the lads due to them having issues with navigation and keeping to the cycle paths. But not to be beaten they stuck with it and eventually found their way.

Day 8
They made it to the outskirts of Paris. The lads were really excited to finally be close to their final destination.

Day 9
The support team were anxiously waiting for the lads to arrive at the stunning Eiffel Tower, and when they did their were lots of hugs and hand shakes to be had and there was a real sense of achievement. Of course to celebrate everyone tucked into some French Onion Soup, and maybe a few beers were sunk along the way.

It was a fantastic journey which was at times challenging and a few minor accidents on the bikes leaving cuts and bruises never once stopped the three fantastic fundraisers wanting to reach their end goal. Everyone is very proud of them, and for 13 year old Adam it was a massive achievement. He will also like to say he reached the Eiffel Tower first!

The trip was very family orientated and everyone contributed massively to ensure the cyclists arrived safely. They hope to do something similar again once the legs are rested.

andrews-car-centre-lincoln

“Our company Andrews Car Centre donated £50.00 for each car sold whilst we cycled the 500 miles.” If anyone would still like to sponsor Michael, Lewis, and Adam for their fantastic efforts, please follow this link to visit their Just Giving Sponsorship Page.

Everyone at WAS would like to congratulate them, and we happily donated £100.00 to the cause!


Thank you for reading this post on the WAS Blog!

 

Hydrogen – The Future Of Motoring?

With ever increasing traditional fuel prices, a trip to the petrol pump is always a cringe-worthy affair. Even with electric and hybrid technology powered vehicles readily available, the cost of motoring only seems to be going up! So is there a viable long-term alternative? Meet the new kid on the block powered by the snazzy new fuel technology, Hydrogen!

The future is here. Well, maybe! Are you tired of paying a small fortune for Petrol or Diesel? Worried about the environmental impact of fossil fuels? Fear not dear reader. Clean, renewable and cheap motoring is here – but it’s actually quite expensive at the moment, and it’s also hard to find, but please bear with me for a moment!

Hydrogen is what I’m talking about. Vehicles powered by a Hydrogen fuel cell. Available to purchase right now in the UK however granted, choices are limited and you’ll have to have deep pockets to purchase one! Hyundai are now offering the ix35 Fuel Cell Car, which will cost you roughly £53,000.

Toyota will release the Mirai later this year, price to be confirmed closer to its release although it is expected to be in the same ballpark as the Hyundai ix35.

Toyota Mirai
The Toyota Mirai

 

Given the incredibly high purchase price can these cars really be a viable motoring alternative for the future?

Well, most people accept that oil is a finite resource which will eventually run out, which means an alternate fuel to power our vehicles has to be found.

We already have several Hybrid options that reduce the consumption of fossil fuels but still require some petrol or diesel to function, and in my opinion, these feel more like a stepping stone to an alternate format rather than a solution. Fully electric powered cars are also available to the consumer, but with very limited range, excessive charge times, and a scarcity of charging points outside of the city, it’s highly unlikely that they will become anything more than a niche speciality vehicle.

So! We know our oil will eventually run out rendering our current petrol and diesel powered vehicles useless. Fully electric vehicles aren’t practical to meet for the needs of the wider motoring community, and Hybrids are still dependant on traditional fuels as part of their power source.

 

Could these hydrogen cars be the answer?

Hydrogen fuel cell cars generate their power from the most abundant resource in the known universe, Hydrogen. So no fear that the fuel source will run out any time soon.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

 

What is hydrogen?

Hydrogen is an element with the chemical symbol H and atomic number 1. Hydrogen is the lightest element on the periodic table and is considered to be the most abundant chemical substance in the universe.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

 

How do Hydrogen fuel cell cars work?

Hydrogen gas is pumped into the vehicle hydrogen tanks where it is stored under high pressure (up to 10,000 psi) in one or more cylinders mounted in the vehicle. The hydrogen travels from the storage cylinders, along with standard air to the fuel cell stack.

Once at the fuel cell, the hydrogen gas goes through a chemical reaction with the oxygen in the air, and this generates an electric current to power the vehicle. The only byproduct of this reaction is water which exits through the vehicle’s exhaust pipe.

 

Is it safe?

Hydrogen is a very explosive element. However hydrogen is 16 times lighter than air meaning if a leak does occur it will dissipate instantly into the surrounding air. By comparison if petrol or diesel leaks, both can pool under the vehicle creating a fire risk.

The hydrogen storage tanks used in fuel cell vehicles are presently made from carbon fibre, and have to undergo stringent crash and even ballistics tests. Current indications are that fuel cell vehicles in their current format are safer than conventionally fuelled vehicles.

 

Where can I get Hydrogen from?

Presently the short answer is hardy anywhere, currently only a handful of hydrogen filling stations are operational in the UK due to the hydrogen fuelling infrastructure being in it’s infancy. However, each vehicle sold increases the demand for hydrogen. This will increase demand and it’s inevitable that more and more filling stations will open.

Now granted it won’t happen overnight, but I wonder how common a sight a hydrogen filling station will be by 2020?

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

 

So is hydrogen the future?

It’s abundant and usable, and we know how to harness it’s energy potential. It’s also renewable, and if produced in the right way has little to no impact on the environment. Whether it’s the motoring energy of the future then only time will tell, however hydrogen power is a very bright positive glow on the motoring horizon.


Thank you for reading this WAS Blog post on hydrogen fuel cell cars.
Image Credits: Adam Evans via Flickr, Zero Emission Resource Organisation via Flickr, Revolve Eco-Rally via Flickr.

April Registrations Hit 10 Year High

Strap yourselves in, because new car vehicle sales in April took the ongoing upward climb to new heights!

Yes indeed everyone, figures published by the SMMT last month revealed a spring 5.1% surge in new car registrations pushing sales in April to 185,778 units – the highest we’ve seen in that month for a decade!

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) underlined a robust new car market, with registrations up for the 38th consecutive month in April. Year-to-date registrations for 2015 are up 6.4% to 920,366.

 

April 2015 Bestsellers – The Top 7!

  1. Ford Fiesta 10,294
  2. Ford Focus 6,347
  3. VW Golf 5,354
  4. Vauxhall Corsa 4,951
  5. Nissan Qashqai 4,697
  6. VW Polo 4,674
  7. Audi A3 3,981

 

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Today’s figures highlight the current strength of consumer confidence, even at a time of such political uncertainty. We are confident that the UK’s new car market – so symbolic of economic mood – will continue to thrive, but long-term success will depend largely on economic and political stability in the months and years ahead. Whatever the outcome of today’s election, the next government must act quickly to uphold economic certainty and reassure consumers and markets.”


Thank you for reading this WAS Blog post on the latest new car vehicle registrations in 2015!