July meeting – Taking on extra hands to grow your business

Formal and informal networking plus speaker workshop:

As a new business’ workload increases so the business owner’s time decreases until lack of time necessitates taking on extra help.  Taking on your first employee is a real milestone for any business, albeit a daunting one. The aim of this workshop is to dispel the myth that it is difficult to hire staff. The truth is it’s easy, and doing so can help your business expand and flourish. Topics covered will include:

  • Do you need an employee or outsourced help?
  • What sort of person do you need?
  • Finding staff
  • Interviewing & Testing
  • Contracts & Basic Employment Law
  • Managing staff
  • Retaining staff


June meeting – Speed Networking

Back by popular demand, our annual speed networking session to help you meet lots of people and build contacts in a structured and easy way.  It’s a great way to break the ice and we always get (sometimes surprised!) comments about how much fun the evening was!

How it works 5 minutes per two-way conversation to introduce yourselves and your businesses, swap details and break the ice ready to make contact or continue the conversation afterwards if you’d like to.  Prepare a 1 minute description of what you do, bring plenty of business cards, a pen and notepad, and small, portable samples if you have them.

When Wednesday 4th June. Informal networking from 7.30pm ready for a prompt 8pm start.

Where  The Beacon, Tea Garden Lane, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9JH

Booking  Spaces are limited and advance booking is necessary.  Guests and non-members are very welcome as always, we’re a friendly lot.  


* Please note our refund policy for advance ticket purchase:

  • More than 2 weeks’ notice of cancellation – 75% refund
  • 1-2 weeks’ notice of cancellation – 50% refund
  • less than one week’s notice of cancellation – we will only be able to offer you a 50% refund if we are able to reallocate your space
  • less than 24 hours before meeting starts – no refund 

Meet a member – Rachel Dunlop of Inner Balance

Rachel Dunlop of Inner BalanceName: Rachel Dunlop, Cert A.S.K

Business: Inner Balance Kent, where I practice Systematic Kinesiology

Mum to: 3 children, Hannah (21) Poppy (11) and Tom (9)


What is that you do, and how long have you been in business?  This is a non-evasive Holistic treatment. By simple muscle testing, I am able to find where the body maybe suffering from an imbalance and treat it. The root cause of any health issue can be physical, nutritional deficiency, electrical or an emotional problem, all of which can be addressed within a session.

What did you do before you started your business and what led you to setting up?  I was a very successful beauty therapist working from my own studio. I really enjoyed the flexibility that this gave me but wanted to have a fresh challenge when I relocated.

I discovered Kinesiology a few years ago, when needing help myself for PMT, depression & hormonal issues that had plagued my life since being in my late teens. After many years of trying various treatments, doctors appointments & medication, hormone clinics, counsellors etc, I was introduced to Kinesiology & have never looked back. With balancing the body, vitamins, food sensitivity testing & lifestyle changes, my world has become a better place.

When did you start coming to TW MIBs and how do you benefit from it? I started coming to TW MIBs a couple of months ago after an existing member recommended it to me. So far I have benefitted by talking to like-minded mums and I am sure that as time goes by I will benefit from it a lot more.

What have been your greatest achievements so far?  Apart from having my three lovely children, my greatest achievement has been retraining and qualifying in a new a career. This has enhanced my life but also being able to help all my clients with their health issues and seeing them flourish is a huge achievement.

What have been your biggest challenges and learning curves? The biggest challenge has been the discipline of the training that I had to undertake and the on going research to stay on top of my profession.

And how do you find balancing motherhood and a business? I find it more easy to balance now as my children are older and my lifestyle has changed.

What are your goals for the next year? Next year I would like to be in a position where I am working 4 days a week with many new clients.

Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time? In 5 years time I would like to have my own Wellness Clinic and a team of Kinesiologist’s working for me.

Your top tips for other mums considering starting a business?

  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Practice what you preach
  3. Keep things in perspective
  4. Set yourself realistic goals which are achievable
  5. Be kind to yourself

And a special offer for TW MIB members! If you are a TW MIB I will offer a 20% discount on your first treatment.

Find out more about Rachel and Inner Balance Kent…

 Interview date: April 2014

May Meeting – The Networking Challenge

Tony Buddin

Perhaps the greatest and most daunting challenges of networking are how to approach a room full of strangers and how to find contacts in there who are able to help you move your business forward.

At our next meeting we’ll see the return of one of our popular speakers Tony Buddin, who will help us overcome this challenge with two facilitated practice sessions.

This presentation was developed by Tony and delivered to over 1,000 people as a warm up to a Lord Digby Jones Lecture at Maidstone TV Studios.
Tony has decades of experience at all levels of business and is a fabulous speaker – many of you will remember him coming to talk to us about pricing strategies and writing copy that sells.  There will also be plenty of time on the evening for formal and informal networking.
  • Evening of Wednesday 7th May
  • The Beacon, Tunbridge Wells



Accounting for small businesses – 2nd April meeting

A very practical and non-technical discussion about money, our relationship with it and how to manage and control it within our businesses. Combined with a no-make-up-selfie-night in aid of the local Pickering Cancer Drop in Centre :-) .

  • one of the biggest mistakes business owners make regarding their finances
  • how to generate the income that you want
  • whether you are charging enough for your product or service
  • controlling and recording your outgoings
  • ensuring that you are not throwing money away through poor systems
  • expenses and what sort of things you can offset
  • come with no make-up and make a £1 donation, if you can’t bear to go without mascara it’s a £5 donation {optional of course, you don’t actually have to}! All proceeds donated to Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre – payable on the evening.




Following the success of our last swishing evening and after lots of requests to have another, it’s on Wednesday 5th March!

What it is:

  • everyone who comes donates at least one item of “pre-loved” ladies clothing still in VGC, plus accessories, shoes and good quality children’s clothes too
  • after time for wine, nibbles and cupcakes swishing is declared open
  • all donations are available for others to buy at a fixed cost of £3 per item or £1.50 for accessories
  • TW MIB and stylist Lynne Meek of Styling Matters will be on hand to let you know what suits you
  • all proceeds are donated to local charity chYps, which provides hospice and respite care to Kent children within their own home, helping the family stay together

***Click here to book!***




Christmas raffle time!

We’ve developed a bit of a tradition at TW MIBs to have our Fabulous Charity Raffle at our December Christmas drinks.  Our members and other local businesses donate prizes and all the proceeds go to our nominated charity chYps, which provides at-home hospice care for Kent children.  And as we have so many amazingly generous members we usually have ridiculously good odds of winning something!

So, here’s a list of this years prizes, which I’ll update as I receive them…

  1. iPod shuffle (pink!) from Laura of Lilyflair
  2. £100 Styling Matters voucher for Lynne’s time of wardrobe edit or personal shopping
  3. Voucher for acupuncture session worth £40 with Elma of Acupuncture Space
  4. Half a day’s PR work from Cheryl of CLR Communications to be used between January and March 2014.  Cheryl can either help you to identify a news story, write a press release and help with a press list or brainstorm a selection of news stories with you and teach you how to write press releases and the best ways to approach the media.
  5. £50 voucher for a massage or treatment from Victoria at Serenity Therapies
  6. Two hours of ironing AND four hours of babysitting worth £52 (which can be used together or separately) from Charlotte of Marvellous Mums
  7. Three vouchers for Clever Little Cake Kits from Boo
  8. Personalised plaque with vintage maps of your special places worth £55 by Painted with Love from moi
  9. A hand-made children’s dress or shirt of your choice up to the value of £22 from Jane’s collection at Alphabetty Designs
  10. Joint Wills worth £425 plus VAT from Reshma at Buss Murton Solicitors
  11. Six bottles of Prosecco from Hannah at Love Inc.
  12. An hour of gardening advice and/or design ideas in the recipient’s garden anywhere from Sevenoaks to T Wells and the surrounding villages from Alison of Gardening by Design worth £40.
  13. A place on 21 day Fed up to Fab starting 7 January worth £47 from Chloe Stephens
  14. Champagne and chocolates from Nicola of Nicola Whittington Executive PA & Secretarial Services
  15. Cupcake decorating masterclass with Emma of Array of Cakes - spend 2.5 hours in Emma’s kitchen learning how to decorate your own dozen cupcakes which you’ll take home with you
  16. Wash, cut and blow-dry worth £45 from the lovely Ashleigh Richter Hairdressing
  17. 30x30cm personalised canvas with something gorgeous painted on it for your child by Louise of The Creative Decorator with an image of your choice, worth £50.
  18. A one hour clarity coaching session with Hilary of Essence Coaching, worth £55.
  19. Voucher for a relaxing Clarins massage by Tia of Soulbird Psycotherapy.
  20. Virtual office for 3 months including a personalised telephone answering and a mailing / registered address from from Fleur at The Pantiles Chambers.
  21. Champagne from Anita of Anita Hazari Plastic Surgeon
  22. Two personal training sessions worth £60 from Sarah of Fit for a Princess
  23. Lovely Molton Brown treats worth £43 from Bridget of 1nfluence Driver Trainers
  24. Cupcake decorating party for 6 adults or children worth £130 from Tina at Sprinkles & Swirls
  25. Italian designer pendant light and ceiling rose made by Axo Lighting worth £250 from Jo Leevers
  26. Mystery basket of goodies from Louise at chYps
  27. Two prints of your choice from Jo and Lucy of Little Blue Zebra
  28. A full page advert in the spring issue of Playground Magazine worth £300 from Caroline
  29. A craft bag filled with a latch hook rug kit and a Christmas card making kit from Shelley at SewingCafe.
  30. A very beautiful poinsettia currently brightening up my dining table from Karen McClure and Millbrook Nurseries
  31. A natural daytime or glamorous nighttime makeover look for any special occasion, plus a 3-day Arbonne skincare trial from Make Up By Linda worth £60.
  32. An accounting consultation from Ann of ACS

Watch this space for more prizes!  If you’d like to donate one then please get in touch, we’d be really grateful for any support you can give to chYps.

November meeting – Principles of Effective Web Design

with Laura Ellis of Lilyflair

click here to book a place

What determines the success or failure of a website in terms of design? How do you put your user at the heart of the experience you offer online? Focusing on the main principles & approaches for effective web design, we’ll be looking at the following:

  • Design vs. Functionality
  • Identifying your audience
  • How users interact with websites
  • Getting your message across and calls to action
  • Effective communicate and interacting with your audience
  • Using media
  • What Google sees
  • Usability issues

About our speaker

Laura Ellis runs Lilyflair Web, a small web design company based in Crowborough.  She spent many years in the marketing & strategy department of a large multi-national company and headed up their online services division, before starting her own business in 2012.

click here to book a place