Category Archives: News

BNI member charity wins prestigious national award

The Charity Retail Association has recognised BNI Nightingale member local HIV charity Wandsworth Oasis with the “Innovation in Charity Retailing” award.



The prize was handed out at the Charity Retail Conference last week where over 140 shops from across the country were represented.

Gill Perkins, CEO of Wandsworth Oasis, said: “As a small local charity it is a big deal to have won a national award, particularly one for Innovation in Charity Retailing, We are thrilled! It’s a real tribute to the hard work of the staff and volunteers at our Amen Corner shop in Tooting and we’d like to say a big thank you to all the local residents and businesses who have supported our events.”

The Wandsworth Oasis store in Amen Corner, Tooting which opened in September last year is 4,000 square metres, the largest out of 6 shops across the borough and with so much space Gill and her team have been using it in a variety of ways to bring the community together in a series of events.

It all began with the Upfest Fashion Show a month after the store opened celebrating the recycling and reuse of clothing donations, a Lebanese evening followed where the shop was turned into a souk then a wine tasting night and local artists exhibition. These are just some of the events which have transformed the shop into a exciting place for the community to come together.

An urban regeneration project funded by Art’s Council England, called The Streets is returning to Amen Corner this year after a hugely successful weekend in 2015 when Jazz music was played inside the store.  Sales were up 17% over the weekend of The Streets festival but the main benefit was to how many people who had never visited the shop before, came back to shop and donate.

Gill Perkins was asked to present her innovative ideas to the Charity Retail Conference and a group of shops in Northern Ireland will be visiting the Oasis stores later this year to learn how Wandsworth Oasis achieves such success.

Great Visitors Day

It was so good to meet so many new faces at Balham Nightingale BNI this morning.  I hope we will see you all again soon Marina Peyton-Jones of the Daily PA; Morris Walkden of Wimbledon IT; Polly Hand, Chiropractor; Patrick from Chiro London in Tooting; Martin Life Coach; Lucinda Peyton-Jones Holistic HeathBNI_Balham_June14_byHakuba-85_1280

The Value of Visitors

 BNI Ed Slot by Jonathan Treliving New Leaf Distribution

Every member knows that having many visitors at meetings generates more energy and tempo. It is this type of meeting that sells BNI to visitors. When this happens, you have a larger pool of referrers to tap into.

So, how do you attract visitors to your meetings so that, in turn, your BNI chapter grows—and your business grows?

Every sales process has two steps:

1. First contact.
2. Final decision.

The first step is the most difficult since too few businesses today know who their next customer is going to be. Not to mention there is a lot of prep time involved—it’s the most time consuming step in the whole sales process. For most, the very first contact usually only confirms whether there is going to be a next step. That’s it!

Think of all the time you’d save every week if you concluded step 1 at your BNI meeting, when you have the opportunity to meet with 6-8 potential new customers (visitors) at the same time. Consider the value of personal introductions made for you by your chapter colleagues to each visitor. And imagine the follow-up call to get you close to step 2, “We met at the BNI meeting…”

Rounding Up Visitors
Getting your visitors to a chapter meeting is easier than you might think. Every team has an enormous commercial value for visitors: personal introductions to 25-40 professional businesspeople at the same time! And all is done in the first 15 minutes of the agenda, the Open Networking part of the meeting.

Challenge your chapter to bring visitors every week by reminding them that they will weekly make more money and save loads of time. When deciding what type of visitors match your chapter best, consider these ideas:

  1. Ask the Keynote speaker whom they want in the room.
  2. Use 1 to 1 meetings to gauge the top three most wanted business categories.
  3. Start by inviting those with whom you are closest. They all have interesting jobs, and they all want to save time and make new contacts for themselves.

Once you have identified whom you want to ask, use these tips to make sure they attend a BNI chapter meeting:

  1. Don’t invite them to a BNI meeting. Invite them to meet your best business contacts, 25-40 at the same time.
  2. Give them the commercial values: personal introduction, everyone wants to meet them, and everyone will want their business card.
  3. Don’t push them about membership. The meeting will sell BNI to the right persons; you don’t have to.

Increasing the amount of visitors will not only save you and your visitors time and give you all more business, it will also grow your chapter.


Servicing your boiler the truth

If your boiler has not been serviced in years, servicing can be counter productive. Opening up the heat exchanger and valves can cause leaks and sometimes it may only be the scale that is present that is preventing leakage. This will mean renewing all gaskets, washers etc, just to ensure it returns to being water tight (not to mention the extra cost on materials and added labour).
If your boiler is still in a warranty period, the T’s & C’s will state that you need an annual service, so have it carried out (you may have to ensure that the Gas Safe engineer you use, is accredited with the manufacturer).
If your boiler is 10+ years old and has not been serviced for several years, then i would suggest that you react to any issues and do not service.

Top tip to create a Spring look for your home

Bright cushions and accessories from W.E.Interiors

Bright cushions and accessories from W.E.Interiors.

To update the look in any room of your home, simply add new accessories. Choose an accent colour – this seasons cirtus yellow, rustic red or indigo blue – and buy cushions, lampshades and vases. Keep to one colour but any mix of pattern will work. Look in W.E. Interiors, 557 – 561 Battersea Park Road for inspiration!