Relaxed networking, and it’s free of charge

W34471H13-BusinessNetworking''Business picture. Stuart Marler, of Retriever  SEO, has set up a new business networking group. Lancing Business Park.
W34471H13-BusinessNetworking''Business picture. Stuart Marler, of Retriever SEO, has set up a new business networking group. Lancing Business Park.
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A BUSINESS owner who felt traditional networking sessions were not for him has set-up a ‘relaxed, free and friendly’ version of his own.

Stuart Marler, of Retriever Web Solutions, in Lancing Business Park, has been running Lancing Local for the past three months.

Around 14 businesses regularly attend and Mr Marler is hoping to see more come along.

He said: “When we started on the park, there was one networking session and we had to sit there and listen to sponsors for 30 minutes.

“By the time everyone finished, it was time to run back to work and there was little time to do any networking.”

After the experience and having attended various business breakfast events over the years, Mr Marler set-up the group.

And it has already reaped rewards, with several businesses working together.

Web designer and developer Paul Edwards said: “I am self-employed, so I work from home, and the networking is already showing dividends.

“I build websites, and by talking to Stuart, I can offer more detailed search engine optimisation than the basics I already knew.”

Mr Marler explained that there were two printers and two stationary firms at the business park, but he and others were previously going to national companies to order items.

He said: “It is all about keeping it local.

“Why go to a national company, when there is someone literally across the road who can walk over and give you the things you want?”

While other networking groups charge a fee for taking part, Lancing Local is free of charge.

Mr Marler is also keen to avoid attracting sponsors for the group, preferring to keep the events low-key and relaxed.

He said: “We generally meet on a Friday afternoon, so people can get away from work and are not having to worry about getting back to the office.”

The networking group meets at the New Sussex Hotel, in South Street, Lancing.

For more information, visit www.lancinglocal.co.uk