This month guest speaker will be Kate Baucherel from Galaia Digital

Rising to the digital challenge

If all small businesses like yours used the internet effectively to market and sell online, we could add a staggering £18.8bn to the UK economy.  Are you rising to the digital challenge?


  • Do you use the internet effectively to communicate with your customers?
  • Have you defined what you do in simple, concise terms?  Have you picked the right channels to spread the word?
  • Are you confident enough about how search and marketing work online to avoid wasting time and money on off-the-shelf internet solutions which don’t suit your business?
  • Do you know the risks as well as the rewards of doing business online?  Have you ticked all the legal boxes, and made sure your data is secure?


Kate Baucherel is author of “Poles Apart: challenges for business in the digital age”and has worked in businesses of all sizes and across many industries for 25 years.  Having started her career in a digital business in the USA in 1988, Kate found that despite being employed as an accountant from 1989 to 2010, digital was always delegated her way, and she eventually moved into the online media sector full time, helping small businesses make the most of the opportunities that are out there.



The Meeting will be held at The Music lounge, Stockton. It is free to attend and food & drink will be available to purchase at the venue.

Children are welcome but it advised that you bring something along to keep them entertained.

Look forward to seeing you all there!



Next Meeting


September  26th
Guest Speaker: Nichola English, Business Etiquette Coach.  “Package Yourself To Success”.


For full details of this meeting and to book your place please click on the The Inspire Network Bedlington Eventbrite Link. Or why not join our Facebook Group and automatically receive invitations to all of our meeting across the region.



Future Meeting Dates 2013 
  • October 31st  – Guest Speaker: Gillian Rayne, No2Stress
  • November 28th -Guest Speaker: Amanda Little, Amanda Little PR
Please note there will no December meeting.


Meeting Dates 2014
  • January 31st
  • February 28th
  • March 28th
All of our Northumberland meetings are held at Space to Play Bedlington. Click on the Space To Play link for full venue details and directions on how to get there. You can buy light refreshments there and hot and cold snacks/meals are available at reasonable prices. 

All of the Inspire Network Meetings are FREE to attend however there may be a nominal venue entry cost to pay. At Space to Play the entry fee for parents without a child is £2:00 and it is £4:00 if you have a child/children. 
OrganiserDarlington meetings are organised and run by Jacqueline Brewster of Making U Social.  Please contact jacqueline@makingusocial.com if you wish to find out more information about the Bedlington group. You may also with to visit www.makingusocial.com or you can Tweet with Jacqueline @makingusocial. 



Angela Dawson – The Admin Doctor

Name: Angela Dawson

Business Name: The Admin Doctor

Website: http://www.theadmindoc.co.uk


Twitter name: @adm1ndoctor

When did you start your business and why?:

1 May 2007.  I wanted a better work/life balance and a job that could work around the school run.  I’ve always been a PA and I wanted to continue using my skills.  Setting up my own Virtual Assistant business gave me that flexibility and whole new challenge and lease of life.

I am passionate about all things admin and supporting my clients so that they can focus on the income-boosting opportunities available to them.

What gives your business the edge?:

I specialise in supporting business owners in the people development sector.  My clients feel comfortable that I have a knowledge of their industry and have a great understanding of the challenges they face.

What is the best thing about running your own business?:

Having the flexibility to work around the school day.

And what is the worst!?:

Switching off on a night time and spending time with my hubby.  When you run your own business, there is always something that needs to be done.

I have started outsourcing some aspects because I just don’t physically have the time anymore with running a house and looking after hubby and two children!

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:

I introduced a training arm to my business in May 2009, whereby I offer training to PAs and Secretaries to set up and run their own VA business.

As well as growing this side of the business I am also looking to expand The Admin Doctor by offering a wider range of services to my clients by building strategic partnerships with other business experts.

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business:

Don’t give up.  If you have a dream, then follow it.  Don’t listen to people who say “it’s risky”, “you can’t do it”, etc., Take the bull by the horns and go for it otherwise one day you’ll wake up and regret you never gave it a go.

Since I had my car crash in December 2010 it has changed the way I view things in life and in business.  I was very lucky to walk away from that crash – which wasn’t my fault – and I grasp every opportunity now that comes my way.

You never know what’s around the corner.  Live life to the full.

Amanda Dixon – I Am You Limited – SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM SUPERSTAR

Name: Amanda Dixon

Business Name: I Am You Limited / The Social Media Angels Limited

Website: www.iamyou.co.uk / www.thesocialmediaangels.com

Facebook page/group: Facebook.com/iamyoultd / Facebook.com/thesocialmediaangels

Twitter name: @iamyoulimited / @TheSocMediaAngels

Award Winning Social Media Consultant and Serial Networker.  I have trained over 1000 North East Businesses in Social Media, specialising in LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – through delivery of seminars, workshops, 1-2-1 training, college tutoring and now online training.   I network with The Inspire Network, Network North, The Mussel Club, NECC and I am also the founder of Monday Motivation.

When did you start your business and why, (what got you interested and what are you passionate about)?:

I started my own business, The Concierge Directory, in 2006 – the idea was to sell enhanced listings on a North East based business directory – and over a period of 4 years I increased the hits on the website from 2000 – 35,000 per.  However I found that all my clients wanted a bit more:- help with back office, graphic design, marketing, telemarketing, assistance with all forms of promotion, especially Social Media.

I was so busy doing lots of different things I decided in 2010 to start a new business, I Am You Limited and just do the things I enjoy the most – that being Networking – both in person at events and through the use of Social Media.

Quite often I will attend a meeting and be asked “who are you today” as I not only attend as myself to promote my business, but also attend on behalf of my clients, when they are too busy to attend themselves.

I offer social media training through hands on workshops and 1-2-1 training.

I also help business with Social Media Marketing strategies, including assistance with Facebook Advertising.

I also offer different levels of management packages, where I manage Social Media Accounts on behalf of my clients.

What gives your business the edge?:

I am a totally confident in the World of Networking – both online and in person and am continually learning new techniques and updates.

I teach Social Media so the client actually understands the ins and outs of it – they can understand how it works and how they can benefit from using it correctly.  I also keep clients informed as to the many changes and updates in Social Media.

I manage accounts quite differently from other Social Media Companies.  I insist on Client participation and work very closely with all of my clients.

Unlike other “Social Media Trainers and Managers” – Social Media isn’t an add on to my business. It isn’t an additional service.  It’s what I do!

What is the best thing about running your own business?:

Being able to pick and choose my hours of work, around my kids and not having to justify the amount of networking events I attend or the amount of hours I spend on Twitter or Facebook to a boss!

And what is the worst!?:

Not wanting to let people down when feeling ill – not having the back up of a team to cover you.

Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:

I try to get up with enough time to have a coffee before the battle to get the boys out of bed and showered commences.  It’s then School run and straight to my first appointment or back home to start Social Media postings or on a Monday straight to the Copthorne for Monday Motivation.  I try to have my appointments finished by 3pm as I like picking the boys up from school, then it’s home, carry on working at the kitchen table whilst cooking,   I then eat, clear up and then it’s back to work for me!  Occasionally I get the odd grumble from hubby whose favourite quotation is “for something called Social Media, it’s not very sociable”!!  (That normally means he’d like a cup of coffee).

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:

Growth!  I’m getting busier and busier and the management side is really starting to take off now.  So I am hoping to take on team, one at a time, to help with different aspects.

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:
Anyone thinking of starting up should go for it! Don’t expect immediate results. Network like mad, you may hate it to begin with, but you will get used to it!  Start with a friendly group like The Inspire Network before being put off by the structured groups like BNI!  And make sure you know what you are doing with Social Media!


Next meeting Wednesday 6th November 10-12 at Clavering House, Newcastle Business Village, Skin Care and Direct Selling
Full details can be found on Eventbrite  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/8775304171/mcivte
Christmas party together with Colleagues on Tap:

Working for yourself doesn’t need to mean partying by yourself!

Office Xmas Party 2012

Get surrounded by a great group of local business owners, freelancers, start-up businesses and homeworkers, for this year’s Office Xmas Party on 11.12.13!

Colleagues on Tap has teamed up with Newcastle Business Village for the second year running to hold an Office Xmas Party on Wednesday 11th December 2013 at Clavering House in Newcastle City Centre.  Enjoy good company, drinks, a tasty buffet lunch and a spot of festive fun (and prizes!).

Arrive for 12 noon and we’ll party until about 4 (feel free to leave earlier though if you need to – we won’t mind at all!).

Thanks to our generous sponsors (their identity will be revealed soon!) you can join us for only £5.95 all in if you’ve attended a Colleagues on Tap Coworking day during 2013, or if you’re a member of the Newcastle Business Village Office Club.  We’re also offering a special Associate Discount to Inspire Network members too.

Even if none of these discounts apply to you, at only £7.95 for a full priced ticket it’s still a bargain!


(Please note that the Office Xmas Party will take place in the Office Club Hub at Newcastle Business Village, Clavering House.  This is a popular lower ground-floor space which is accessed via stairs only.  If you have special access requirementsplease contact the venue to make arrangements before you book.