This week I've had some tough conversations with some businesses that I care deeply about. They know that I care because I've taken them to task and am holding them accountable. My network is my investment and where I get the most return on investment.
- Technologybedriuwen wêrmei't ik wurkje, krije altyd in earfol fan my. ik altyd report problems, ideas and kudos to their teams. For every person that complains, there are hundreds of others who will simply leave you and find another vendor. It's critical that, if you care about your solutions providers, you have the difficult conversations with them on what went wrong or why.
- There are several network tools and communities I belong to. Networking is exhilarating and exhausting. As a small business, my network is key to my success. Who I surround myself with reflects on my business and also brings in business. Some of my networks are selfless – always doing their best to push business into my lap. I feel indebted and always take opportunities to return the favor. Some are selfish, though, and only measure our relationship by what I've provided them.
Social media casts a huge net. I'm constantly evaluating where I should speak next, whether or not it should pay, or whether I should take the time and money out of my schedule to be there. I review platforms to write and promote on. I think about blogging versus video versus podcasting. I think about commenting on other sites and connecting with industry leaders. It's a lot of work.
As a consultant, I have very little ‘recurring revenue', so the majority of my income is accrued through selling my time. That means that every cup of coffee, phone call or email I'm responding to risks me losing income.
Nijsgjirrich: Hoe produktyf kinne wy wêze as wy inoar moatte betelje foar elke gearkomste dy't wy mei-inoar hawwe. As ik jo oproppe om kofje te drinken, wat as ik jo oertaryf betelje moast. Soe ik dy noch skilje foar kofje?
It's important that you evaluate your network on a constant basis to find out where you're investing and whether or not it will pay off. Business is business, of course. Be selfish about finding a selfless network. I would not be successful if it weren't for my key clients – Kompendium, ChaCha, Webtrends en Walker Ynformaasje steane op dy list. Mei "kaai" bedoel ik ynkomsten;).
As ik tink oer dy relaasjes en hoe't se evolueare, evolueare se allegear út myn relaasje mei ien ûndernimmer - Chris Baggott. Dy fan jimme dy't Chris en my kenne, witte dat wy in protte respekt foar inoar hawwe - en wy binne beide heul earlik tsjin elkoar. Chris is de konsumint-evangelist - altyd driuwt hurd om syn bedriuwen yn 'e skynwerpers te krijen ... dat kin egoïstysk ferskine. As ik nei myn sukses en myn list fan kliïnten sjoch, evoluearren se lykwols allegear troch myn relaasje mei Chris troch de jierren hinne.
Wêr krije jo kliïnten wei? Wêr generearje jo leads foar jo bedriuw út? Wa hawwe jo jo súkses te tankjen? Kinne jo de foardiel werom? Jo kinne ferrast wêze as jo it útfine.
Ien lêste opmerking: This post is not meant to slight any of the other folks that are so critical to my business' success and growth. You know who you are! I only mean to shed some light that some of us don't truly evaluate and value the folks in our network for the actual business they provide. I think I've taken my relationship with Chris for granted and didn't recognize how important he was to me.