New Bishop's Stortford business networking group NANG aims to help members make money while having fun
Making money while having fun is the ethos behind a new business networking group that is already taking off despite not officially launching until April.
NANG has been created by five people who have become good friends after meeting through business.
Adam Aziz, of Bishop's Stortford digital accounting firm Ascott Blake, and Joe Bishop, from The Engineered Flooring Company in Maldon, came up with the "zesty" concept of offering members a different format at every meeting to harness their full potential.
They then got Mike Williams, managing director of MW Fitness at Wickham Hall, and Stortford businesswoman Sam Peel, owner of Jam Printing, involved along with Stansted-based Jo French of X-Press Legal Services.
They held their first of five intro meetings at North Street restaurant Bill's on Wednesday February 26 and already have 30 members signed up, meaning they hit their three-month target on day one ahead of their April 1 launch.
And the quintet already have expansion on their minds as they plan to launch NANG in other towns, with talks having begun with potential venues.
"NANG is a new generation of networking," said Adam. "We've all been to networking groups before that have worked and haven't worked. What we've tried to do is take the best bits of what have worked and flex the rest for a more modern entrepreneur.
"We can harness where they want to have value – they don't want to be just shoved in a box with the message of one size fits all."
NANG – which is an acronym for Not Another Networking Group and means 'cool' in the Urban Dictionary – offers exclusivity, with only one business per industry category being invited to join.
Meetings, which will take place at Bill's roughly 42 times a year with four weeks on before a week off, will not be regimented and take different forms.
There will be speed networking and talks by guests and industry experts, while members will be able to give pop presentations when they can talk about their business for 90 seconds to explain what they do.
In the spirit of businesses being given individual help to enable them to grow and get new customers, members will also have the chance to give talks about things that have worked for them and take part in Q&A sessions to get targeted advice.
The group is looking to build a "NANG culture" by organising regular social events for members in order to build relationships and support each other's business growth. A Perky NANGs scheme is also being worked on which will give members offers and discounts from corporate partners.
The second intro meeting took place on March 4 with the others being held on March 11, 18 and 25 at Bill's from 6.30am for a 6.45am start. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
The group wants to hear from local charities that are interested in being its charity of the year to benefit from fundraising efforts as well as receiving free membership for a year. Charities should email email@example.com by March 18 to register their interest.