Dating is a serious business
IT is the age-old problem facing men and women looking for love – having the nerves of steel that it takes to approach someone you fancy and tell them about yourself.
IT is the age-old problem facing men and women looking for love - having the nerves of steel that it takes to approach someone you fancy and tell them about yourself.
But now it seems anyone who has seen Mr or Mrs Right across a room and lacked the nerve to go and speak to them may know exactly how it feels to run a small business.
For it seems life in the business world can be a lonely game which can prove to be just as hard as finding your true love.
So to help break the ice for small businesses who are struggling to find success in the networking game, the Ipswich & Suffolk Small Business Association (ISSBA) has decided it is time to play Cupid to the business world.
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The association has revealed it is to host the county's first speed dating event for businesses.
Like traditional speed dating, which brings singletons together for a few minutes at a time to see if there is a chance for a lasting relationship, the business to business speed dating will help small business people meet others in the same boat.
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Vivienne Maunder, the ISSBA member who came up with the idea, said: "We thought that this would be a great opportunity to mirror the success of speed dating.
"It's ideal for people who perhaps find traditional networking situations daunting, in that they meet potential business partners face to face, and can demonstrate their own strengths and personalities in a less threatening environment."
So on September 22, 4 Street Fish & Chip Restaurant in Fore Street, Ipswich, will play host to people looking for more entries in their little black book of business contacts.
Participants will be given two minutes to sell the merits of their business to each of their counterparts in the hope that by the end of the night they may have found someone who may either want to do business with them or who may have something to offer for their own business.
Mrs Maunder, who runs the public relations consultancy The Writing House in Lancaster Drive, Martlesham heath, said it presented a perfect opportunity to promote a business.
She said: "They're not going to look like they're being pushy because that's what people will have gone for."
And there is always the hope that a beautiful partnership could develop.
"You never know," Mrs Maunder said.
The B2B speed dating event will take place at 4 Street Fish & Chip Restaurant, Fore Street, Ipswich from 6.15pm to 10pm on September 22.
It is open to any business and is free, although prior booking is essential. To book email Martin Cross at email@example.com