As CEO of Dynamic Edge Group, one of Rob Hamilton’s main remits is to grow the company he founded in 2009. Here he explains his reasoning for opening an office in London.
While looking at the 2017 growth strategy for Dynamic Edge last year we made the decision to establish and grow the business in London!
We recognised that to do this properly it needed to be myself who made the move south. The plan in the first half of 2017 was to make regular trips to meet new contacts, prospects and partners – effectively build the network.
Phase 2 is that I move permanently with my family during the school summer holiday – July 2017.
I should point out that my wife, Mandy, is from south London and I have worked there in the past so it’s not all new.
What is the Scottish Business Network?
In December 2016 I was made aware of the Scottish Business Network. As I understood this was a network of Scots who were interested in developing their respective businesses in London and beyond. Being a seasoned networker myself it looked like it ticked all the right boxes. I made contact with the founder, Christine Esson and visited my first event at Shepherd and Wedderburn’s London office in January 2017. The events are normally run on last Tuesday of every month in the evening from 6pm. The format of the event is open networking from 6-6.30, followed by a Scottish Business Network introduction then 3 x 10 minute presentations from the members. Presenting members are encouraged to come along with an “ask”. An “ask” is a specific request or introduction that they are looking for – the more specific the better. Christine then summarises the presentations and questions from the floor are taken.
The evening even normally concludes with more networking over food and drinks.
Go niche was the best advice I got from Christine! I presented at the event on 23rd May at Adams & Company’s London office. 10 minutes isn’t a lot of time and Dynamic Edge has a vast array of IT solutions in our “kit bag”. What I solely focussed on was the impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into effect in May 2018 and will affect 99% of businesses. I am by no means a legal authority on GDPR but we can sort the technical side and help businesses become compliant. You can see more here.
Does SBN work?
As with all networking organisations you should know what you want to get out of it before you get into it.
During the April event I was speaking to another member who mentioned that her husband’s business is looking to upgrade their IT systems and renew their support contract. Through an email introduction I met the business owners, discuss their requirements and came up with a proposed solution. We won the contract in May!
Essentially SBN is a group of like-minded Scots who meet with the view to helping each other if they can.
Comment from SBN
Christine Esson of SBN said “Rob’s experience of Scottish Business Network is a great example of what the Network is all about, making the right connections for Scots who have the ambition, passion, commitment and capability to grow their businesses outwith Scotland. The main focus for Scottish Business Network is to connect Scots who have the experience of global business development, with fellow Scots who would benefit from hearing directly from them and ensure a sustainable new market entry.
“Every day Russell Dalgleish and I are supporting Scottish businesses in making these practical connections. The connections are amongst like minded individuals many of whom have been operating outside Scotland for many years, but are now delighted to hear about the growth of entrepreneurship in Scotland and are keen to make connections.
“By providing a very practical monthly showcase opportunity in London, we have developed a very strong community who understand that they are there to provide support and advise to Scottish businesses. Given the size of the London market it is key that Scottish businesses are targetted in their market entry into London as Rob said be “laser focused”.
“Russell and I have also responded to many Scots worldwide who have reached out to us seeking to connect with Scottish companies. In July we will be returning to San Francisco to build on the connections made during Scottish Business Network’s event in April.
More details about Scottish Business Network can be found on our website www.sbn.scot or follow us on twitter @sbnscot.”