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By Jan Bolick Jan Bolick is Founder and President of Business Class Inc which specializes in working with leaders to build positive, productive, results oriented service culture.

Simple Problems: Simple Solutions

By Jan Bolick Posted April 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm

The facilitator for the April meeting of the Chamber of Commerce Small Business Roundtable was Tori Williams Reid, Ph.D., co-owner of Right at Home – Durham/Chapel Hill, an in-home care and assistance company.

During a session entitled Simple Problems: Simple Solutions, Tori invited participants to share current business problems and then for each one, she led a discussion on potential solutions. At the end, she asked participants to share aha moments – things they had done that had changed their business.

I didn’t attend the roundtable planning to write this article, but left thinking there were a lot of Good Business tips that could be valuable to others. So here goes. I don’t claim it to be a complete list of all ideas mentioned during the session, and can’t give credit to each individual for his/her contributions so will simply thank all participants of the Small Business Roundtable for these great ideas and reminders that can help all of us do Good Business.

  1. Make the most of networking opportunities.

    1. Choose just one or two groups or methods of networking rather than spreading yourself too thin.

    2. Evaluate periodically to determine which groups and methods are delivering the best results.

    3. Have a goal in mind for each networking event (examples: meet a particular person or meet people in a particular industry).

    4. Follow up (item #2biii may be needed for this).

    5. Be helpful /be a connector – in other words, focus on helping others instead of getting what you want/need.

    6. Tell the same story (marketing message) every time.

  1. Regarding processes…

    1. Put all your to do’s in one place (like Google calendar).

    2. Let go of details so you can do the most important things for you to do (like those listed in #3-7 below). Ways to let go of details:

      1. Hire a bookkeeper.

      2. Hire a payroll company.

      3. Hire an assistant.

    3. Always be checking your systems to make sure they are working.

  1. Get support/input/ideas from others. Sources mentioned included:

    1. Business coach from SBTDC (Small Business & Technology Development Center) – it’s free!

    2. Business coach from SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives)

    3. A coach/consultant/expert from your industry

    4. Shark Tank, a reality show which features business pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs to a panel of potential investors.

    5. Entre Dot whose tagline is “Helping Entrepreneurs Connect the Dots”

    6. Strategic partnerships

    7. Linked in

  2. Ask for the business – Yes! It can be a scary thing to do! More on this below.

  3. Send a thank you card even if you don’t get the business – It’s polite. It’s unusual. People will remember you!

  4. How to get the confidence to ask for the business?

    1. Know your product.

    2. Work on personal development every day. Tips and sources mentioned included:

      1. Shoot for 30 minutes/day for reading, watching, listening to positive, instructional, inspirational material.

      2. Use your car as a classroom (for listening, not watching, reading or writing).

      3. Mentioned as sources used:

        1. Business Class Leadership Quote of the Week (I am not the one who mentioned this – I promise!)

        2. Mike’s Minute. To sign up for Mike’s Minute for “Daily Inspiration, Personal Development and Business Savvy”, send an e-mail to: mailto:Michael@BigFishDigitalSigns.com.

  1. Have a daily goal (based on your conversion rate) of how many people you need to call, meet, speak with, present to, etc. Make it a process…a daily routine. The more you do it, the more confidence you develop, the easier it will be to ask for whatever you need and the more people will say YES!

____

Good tips for Good Business from a collection of 20 or so business owners in the Chapelboro area.

Many of the tips are about doing certain things over and over. Not a lot of things, but just a few. Consistently. Over and over.

And all of that led me to select this as the Business Class Leadership Quote of the Week.

You can read more about it here.

To those who attended this session…any major points I left out? Feel free to comment below.

Comments and questions are welcome from others as well.

Note: Speaker at the May meeting of the Small Business Roundtable will be Paula Pazderka from DSI Comedy Theater. The title of the session: Using the Fundamentals of Improv Comedy to Become a More Effective Communicator. Get details and sign up here.

Jan Bolick is Founder and President of Business Class Inc which specializes in working with leaders to build positive, productive, results oriented service culture.

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