Pop-In To Drop-In!

Nicola Combe talks about the weekly face-to-face drop-in support that she hosts for The Growing Club CIC on Thursdays, and how it can benefit you, your business, and further learning.


The Growing Club CIC Drop-In

I’ve been hosting The Growing Club CIC Drop-In for just over a year now, but have attended regularly for over two years. It’s a fantastic way to meet people but, more importantly, to get help! So I thought I would share a bit about it with you.

The Growing Club CIC Drop-In is an informal session where any woman can come and get help with their business (or business idea). They can also find out about the work we do and the courses and events we run. You don’t have to “belong” to The Growing Club or be on one of our courses. If you need help, we are here!

We host it every Thursday from 12:30 – 2:00pm at The Growing Club’s offices at 605 Alston House, White Cross Business Park, Lancaster. During the COVID pandemic, we’ve been hosting it online instead, but I was excited to be able to bring Drop-In back as a face-to-face session from September. It’s so good to see and interact with people in person again.

You can pop in anytime during The Growing Club Drop-In – stay for the whole session, or for just five or 10 minutes if you have a specific query. It’s up to you. I love the fact that some women just come for a brew and a chat. It can be lonely running your own business, so having somewhere to bounce ideas off others, or just get a bit of company, is often the reason many come along.

Some of the women we work with come every week. It’s a great place to be surrounded by positive people, get motivated, and leave with loads of ideas. Or for some women, it’s a great place to work – a different surrounding, somewhere to concentrate away from the “home office” – and enables them to just get stuff done.

Our library shelves

What can I get help with?

The aim is to be informal and casual at The Growing Club Drop-In. We offer you a brew, a seat on the sofa or at the table, WiFi to work if you need it, and plenty of company if you’d like to talk. But we are also serious about getting you answers too. In the time I’ve been attending, we’ve helped lots of women with queries about IT, marketing, branding, accounting, social media, and much more. We have regular experts in the room, and we are also able to signpost you to someone if we can’t answer your query there and then. Below you will find a few examples of the help we give on a regular basis:

  • Technology – setting up a new email address, configuring your laptop or giving advice on which software may be useful
  • Marketing – setting up a social media page, how to use Google My Business effectively, how to keep your brand consistent, how to research or reach a new audience
  • Finance – HMRC, Self-Employment registration, personal taxation, keeping good records 
  • HR – in recruitment, contracts, staff management queries
  • General – filling out forms, opening a business account, making a plan, getting your ideas off the ground
  • And of course, what we do at The Growing Club!

Feedback From Women Attending Drop-In

The feedback we get from those who come to The Growing Club Drop-In is really positive.  Here’s what they say:

“I enjoy attending the drop-in because working from home can get lonely and if I’m not having a good week then even more so I make an effort because there is always someone I can chat to about it, either as a 1-2-1 or in a group. There is always someone at hand to give advice if needed about the business”

“The Drop-In is a really valuable resource for me. Each week I can talk with other businesswomen and discuss anything I need help with, or simply acknowledge my small successes with women who ‘get it’. Working alone from home could be quite an isolating experience, but knowing there are people there to talk with each week really helps.”

So, now you can see why I love hosting these sessions. There is always something new to learn, someone who needs advice, somebody who wants a brew and a chat, and every session is different.

We hope to see you in person soon at the Growing Club CIC Drop-In…we’re there every Thursday, 12:30-2pm, White Cross, Lancaster, LA1 4XQ.

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