Member Press Releases

Why I travelled 968 miles to attend a Jet Business Network Meeting

16 Apr 2019

I joined the JBN Network in Feb 2017. Having belonged to various groups over the years, I found myself 'Groupless' and somewhat isolated. I needed to engage in a network that was worth the time and money put into it, needless to say the effort.

I think it’s more important than ever to belong to something – retailing, especially today, is more challenging than ever and when the chance came to join a regional group whose members are independents with similar challenges and problems, I knew this was what I was looking for.

 stephen henderson.jpg

The JBN Network runs groups nationwide. As I'm based up in Dundee, the network slotted me into a Northern Group alongside members from the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West. Crucially we are in non-competing geographical areas so when we’re sharing marketing intelligence and promotional ideas that could be mutually beneficial, there’s no overlap.

Our group meets throughout the year, and again at Congress where we get a chance to engage with other groups. However, I've benefitted from being able to engage with other groups already, and is in part why I travelled some 968 miles recently. 

My groups May meeting was scheduled in York for mid-May. Due to a family commitment and clash of dates I soon realised that I would not be able to attend. Expressing my frustration, our facilitator Michael suggested that I attend the London Group’s meeting a month earlier. I have to share with you that if you do not engage in meetings, you will miss out. The type of conversations we host, are just not fit for purpose over skype or telephone. Not wanting to miss a meeting I went online and booked my train journey to London immediately.

 

JBN Northern

 

Setting off from Dundee at 10am, I arrived in London at approximately 5pm. Several tube stops later I met with a few members for dinner. Casual conversation flowed around present business issues and topics warranting further discussion.

The following day we met up in a function room of a south London pub, (minutes away from the store we were planning to visit) with our pre-agreed agenda, that included discussion on the progress we had made against the actions from our previous meeting,  promotional ideas that have been successful and our most recent cost saving initiatives.

A member store visit and retail critique was carried out along with some mystery shopping of other retail jewellers in the area. Having your store critiqued by other JBN members is another valuable asset of being in the JBN. The JBN is run 'by the JBN for the JBN', so in essence, we do have a vested interest in other members being successful, so we can learn about the why and how.

Back for lunch and more conversation followed before the afternoon’s business session. the business session is where I find the most nuggets of take away information. Initiatives to explore, suppliers to try and legislation to check. My train North left Kings Cross at 5 pm and after some delays I finally got back home just after midnight!

 

Yes, it was a long trip however I feel that the interaction with other Group Members is invaluable, and once again the meeting did not disappoint. I’ll miss the York Meeting, but the London Meeting helped make up for that, and I’m now looking forward to our Annual Congress in June.

Now, if you're an independent Jeweller I have to ask why you're not a member of the JBN? If your response starts with either 'time' or 'money', then you are just the type of person that will immediately benefit from the network. The Annual congress takes place on 11 June (Oxford) and is open to other NAJ members, so would be a good place to see what all the fuss is about. There is only limited non-JBN seats available, so best to enquire as soon as possible.

 

Stephen Henderson – Stephen Henderson the Jeweller,  Dundee, Scotland.

Media:

1) Stephen Henderson, Managing Director of Stephen Henderson the Jeweller

2) JBN Northern (Illastrative purposes only - images courtesy of FreePik one two

3) JBN member video

JBN