News in Yorkshire East Region
Referrals? - It's a piece of cake!
Wed 11 July 2012
Craig Gallimore is so grateful for the success BNI has brought to his business that when Charlie Lawson, National Director of BNI in UK visited the region he wanted to show his appreciation in the best way he knows! Craig presented Charlie with this amazing cake at a Build Your Business Workshop in Sheffield.
Craig has some stories to tell. He was a successful chef for 20 years and has worked throughout the world alongside the top names in the industry. But after the birth of his baby girl decided to set up A&S Cake designs with his partner Sally. Like many start up businesses his marketing consisted of a home made flyer handed around the shops in his local High Street. Until one of the shop owners invited him along to his local BNI meeting.
Craig confesses "At first I must admit I thought, hang on, what can a Cake Artist possibly gain from going to a business networking meeting? Plus the 6:30 in the morning thing didn't really appeal to me." But, after talking it over with Sally, Craig went to the meeting.
"I found everyone to be very warm and welcoming, and really enjoyed the open networking part at the beginning, and was already making contacts. I was also blown away by everyone in the rooms 60 second presentations, and was worried about having to stand up and say something myself." He needn't have worried. He was so good he won the 60 second award! Two days later he applied to join Mid Yorkshire Business Exchange group and was accepted.
He explains "Our diary began to fill. After careful research on other cake designers, I learned that nearly all of them had taken at least 12 months to have the bookings we had in just a month and there was no sign of it slowing down.
Most of our business in the first few weeks was made up of celebration cakes but by week four of our membership the dream referrals started to come in. 6 weeks later our business was growing so quickly we decided to open our first cake studio.
To date we have created cakes for customers all over the UK, with customers such as DHL, Pizza Hut, TLI refurbishment and D3 office group to name a few.
Our success so far is mainly owed to BNI and its members. As I am not a local man meeting with members on a weekly basis who have a wealth of local and nationwide contacts has, and still does, continue to supply me with all the referrals we need to continue to grow. And we've made some really good friends."
More of Craig's designs can be found on his website
Pictured (L to R) Craig Gallimore A&S Cake Designs, Charlie Lawson BNI National Director UK, Niri Patel Executive Director BNI Yorkshire & N Derbyshire