A View From The Bridge - DACC123 - March 2021

Our monthly networking sessions give members an opportunity to discuss some key issues for business. The volume of knowledge, experience and feedback given during these sessions are invaluable so we're sharing this information wider to allow more members to benefit from the content the event discussed. 

On March's session we were joined by our Vice President, Steve Smith, who kindly hosted one of our breakout rooms. Both Steve and Alison provided a listening ear and fed back what each group had discussed after each question.

During the event we discussed: 

  • How are you growing your network, how has it been affected during the pandemic and what platforms have you found to be useful when connecting with people?
  • What steps may you need to follow to design what your business could look like post-pandemic and what would do need to do in order to implement and make it happen?
  • Has working from home made you more worried about cyber security?

The event was kindly sponsored by m3 Networks and we welcomed Mark Riddell on the session. 

If you'd like to take part in these discussion groups to share your thoughts and experiences whilst learning from others you can sign up to April's DACC123 here

Q1 - Networking

Online Opportunities

  • Many people on the call have been using Zoom & Teams to keep business connections and relationships going. Having the use of “breakout rooms” on Microsoft Teams is also a notable feature.
  • Using online resources has proven to be an excellent way of communicating whilst reducing our Carbon footprint!
  • Facebook groups, Instagram and Clubhouse has proved to be worthwhile in certain instances, also giving you more of a visual on business prospects and aspects. This is helpful to sense what peers are doing.
  • LinkedIn is valuable to use for supplier engagement, people are buying on LinkedIn and businesses are not only using this resource to extend their business, but they are also using it when thinking of suppliers.
  • The groups also discussed paying attention to web leads and asking your clients/customers for referrals, using this as a tool to engage existing clients and to focus on highlighting and displaying what the business does. This will also allow for you to connect at a deeper level.
  • Publishing articles on support, what to watch for etc. can help with SEO.
  • There was a suggestion of using shieldapp.ai to track engagement on LinkedIn.

Social Media & Engaging Content

A question was raised “How long do you give it on social media before noticing a difference?” – do you start seeing an increase in engagement after logging into LinkedIn and liking/sharing a small number of posts over the space of a week?

The answer.........No, this is a process of commitment which takes months. Members has been actively using LinkedIn for 5-6 months and only at this point and time are they seeing an increase in engagement. Social Platforms take time to build up.


  • Communicating through video, as well as text/photo on social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter is essential to draw attention to the business and catch the eyes of those you wish by delivering certain presentations/updating specific topic related statuses and posts.
  • Engage with professional bodies to help promote yourself.
  • Using twitter, one member uses their personal brand to like news articles, goodwill stories etc and people see this, click on to their personal profile and view their business information/visuals from there. Almost a form of self-promotion, as the person who posted the status you engaged with will notice you too.
  • Facebook and Instagram are web pages most suited for consumer brands – aesthetic product, businesses should use this to their advantage to showcase and portray an eye catching visual to draw attention to the business.

Q2 - Designing your Business


  • Discussions started off talking about keeping online events “a thing” when we start seeing signs of reality and coming back to normal life with no COVID-19. Everyone is really looking forward to seeing people in real life and meeting face to face again, but to keep a mix of online and real-life events is an exceedingly popular thought.
  • There were also discussions around hybrid events such as webinars, podcasts, workshops, crowdcast.io and so on. Doing small online networking connections was also mentioned, in specific looking at online groups.
  • If your business is a one man/woman band, you can have initial conversations at such online events with people and other businesses and the initial conversation would hopefully give you enough of a report to conclude whether you wish to work together, or not. You can make decisions slightly easier and have the space and time to think clearly about your decision and your prospects for how you wish this to work out. You can very efficiently make sense of these arrangements and communicate your decisions using online meetings.
  • When we can hold face to face meetings and network events, will there be a demand? Will people still be desperate for social interactions when we can network, or will people be too used to remote working, and feel extremely uncomfortable with socialising again? It is hard to visualise how we will all react; will we comfortably take steps forward in real life without COVID-19 restrictions?

The Working Day

  • Another topic discussed was to think about a mix of working hours, incorporating hours of working from home/online meetings and working in the office/physical events and meetings etc. Companies have gone to a great extent purchasing and supplying equipment to ensure employees can work from home and whilst being so prepared already there should be elements of home working and online meetings etc kept going.
  • Getting ready to get out there again is also exceptionally important to consider in these times. There were valid points made about how businesses can get rid of fear/anxious thoughts getting out to see people and do things again.
  • The chances are people probably will not want to change much now that we have been doing things online from home, especially given how much upheaval and change the new COVID restrictions has caused already. People are only just starting to settle into this way of working. It is extremely easy to build relationships online, and highly more efficient than email introductions, for example using technology such as QR Codes.
  • Use this time, whilst working from home with access to a variety of different resources to communicate, to tap into a “niche” and talk to your team.


  • A lot of talk about working on businesses, instead of working in the moment of them, it's essential to produce forward thinking plans.
  • Discuss any future prospects and any worries or positives. Use tools like LinkedIn to drill into the demographic and make the most of this as a business development tool. Use the tools and functions on LinkedIn to your business advantage.
  • What we must not forget is to look after our existing customers and listen to what they are telling us right now. Communication is key. The fact that businesses have adapted and brought technology in – how will this work when we go back to normal, how will services be going forward? More efficient ways of working will definitely impact future resources & rehiring.

Q3 - Cyber Security

Worries & Concerns

  • We had mostly people saying yes, they are much more aware of cyber security. Once Mark Riddell started talking, folks were considerably more worried after hearing fact from someone with experience and qualification in IT.
  • A member also raised that it took them quite a while to get going with work from home due to calls having to be regulated. Comments were also made about the speed of adding mobile and internet connectivity, and that mobile service/broadband providers will also be preparing for the demand in this and should be ready to provide. Businesses are so reliant on the transfer of software right now, and if anything were to fail in the process, they are running the risk of losing files, data etc. People suggested using Dropbox.
  • People brought into the discussion that they have certain worries using their own devices and cloud storage. Especially in instances where employees have tried to use their own personal Windows computer, however the version of Windows installed is not the correct one to work alongside your business software and will not encrypt, so they have then had to upgrade to Windows 10 Professional or a completely different software all together and this takes a lot of time.
  • The number of things you can trip up on nowadays is growing. Text messages about amazon accounts, emails about bank accounts, there is more and more happening as months go on and these scammers are getting a lot more clever and sneakier. It was said that people are genuinely becoming a lot more aware of this and starting to question and not to click on every link they are sent. There is a certain general level of security in which we can provide ourselves by being more aware and being careful who and what we are making interactions with online.


  • Using systems, devices, laptops etc at home carries a risk. Some people are more open to user fallibility; however, things are moving at an amazingly fast pace. Businesses all over are trying their very hardest to make sure systems are as protected as possible, whilst employees are doing so much work at home and accessing so many different resources this carries a risk of inviting new viruses etc into computer systems.
  • There were minimum comments made that feelings of worry have not increased because employees have always worked from home. However, it was brought to the table that there are new systems in place that are not understood by all staff members, as well as that there are specific security systems in place that the knowledge of this is very thin, possibly things like this should be explained to all staff in more detail.
  • It was noted that it's important to emphasise to new members of staff that they must be much more aware, as there may be issues faced during the period and time of new hires starting work and having new computers etc set up, “think at home like you are in the office.”
  • There is an increase in worry when working and dealing with client’s personal details and information.
  • There were concerns raised about home networks not being as secure as a business’s network with specified firewalls and security systems etc in place. Is there a reason to split business and personal items completely? Should businesses be allowing for employees to be using personal laptops and phones etc for work purposes?