|Small Business Information|
Build Your Small Business by Building Relationships
-- The One Pager Shortcut Series --
People do business with people that they know and trust. As a solo entrepreneur, your goals will be to make yourself known to your target market and then elevate the relationship to the trust level. This process of building relationships can take many forms. Take a few minutes to review what is working for you in this area. Then consider these ideas to add to your relationship building toolkit.
30 Second Introduction
Have you upgraded your 30 second introduction lately? If you haven't revised it in the past year chances are the impact may be stale. A new introduction can spark your own energy which will show when you introduce yourself. Consider the use of powerful action words such as create, design, compose, organize, generate, solve, produce, and supply. Deliver it in front of a mirror and see what others see.
What Do You Have to Give?
We often think of what we want to get from relationships. Things like a request for proposal, a new resource, a potential alliance, or a business contact or sale. Flip this over and consider what you are willing to GIVE to your network of potential customers. Do you offer sample products or trial services? Do you have free information that your target market can use? Can you provide a free evaluation of your client's current service provider? Keep in mind that building relationships is a two way flow that begins with you. Approaching these relationships in a giving, proactive mode is a terrific beginning.
Follow up, Follow up
The simple act of following up with individuals that you meet for the first time will make you stand out. Very few people use a consistent follow up method over a period of time. You must have contact information in order to implement this step. Successful follow up actions include handwritten notes (they stand out), e-zines, newsletters, holiday or birthday cards, an article of interest, and invitations to an event. Choose several actions that fit your personal style and do them consistently. Watch your network grow as you demonstrate an interest in building the relationship.
Consistency in building relationships will be difficult to maintain without a method to capture and maintain contact information in a practical way. This means being accessible and easily updated for changes. Contact software such as ACT, Goldmine, and Outlook were created for this purpose. Other options include business card files, Rolodex, Palm Pilots, and planner systems such as Day-timer or Franklin. Choose the system that fits your work style and schedule time for communication with your contacts and maintenance of the database. This nut and bolts step is an important part of building relationships over time.
Plant a Seed
Think of building relationships in the same way as planting seeds. In order for the seeds to grow, they need water, food, and sunlight over time. For relationships to grow, you provide opportunities for your network to get to know you, what you provide, and ultimately trust you with their business
Copyright 2004, Charlotte Farrior
Charlotte Farrior of Coaching Connection (http://www.corporatecoaching101.com) and Founder/Team Member of Solo-E (http://www.Solo-E.com) is a corporate and professional coach. She works with professionals, entrepreneurs, directors, and executives to define and achieve the personal and business goals they set for themselves. She coaches in the areas of goal setting, skill development, priority management and career transitions.
*********** Find more articles like this at http://www.Solo-E.com ? Keeping Solo Entrepreneurs Juiced in Business and in Life. Our team of Solo Entrepreneurs are comprised of small business experts who support others in finding business success with the flexibility and freedom to have a life, too. Network with other freelancers, self-employed and Solo Entrepreneurs in our forums, enjoy our articles and newsletter, and find other online training opportunities. ***********
Are You Making the Most of Your Intern?
KEEPING INTEREST HIGH: Supervision is key to the success of the program. Interns like direction, but don't like to feel they are being constantly checked on. Even this small amount of direction, however, can take a great deal of time. It is important to be willing to set aside this time to give the intern direction. One method that seems to work calls for a briefing at the beginning of each day and a "where-do-we-stand?" briefing at its end. Throughout the day, the manager is on hand to answer any questions that might come up -- remember this is a learning experience! There should also be additional time set aside throughout the duration of the internship during which the manager receives feedback from the intern on his or her satisfaction with the assignment and suggestions for future directions. Equally important, interns should receive feedback on their progress. They need to know if they are performing to the manager's expectations. Additionally, many interns have chosen to keep diaries and time logs documenting their involvement. These can be reviewed at the conclusion of that person's internship.
Power Tools for Business
How do we keep track of our business deals?
Beginning an Internship Program
CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR INTERN: Specify the number of hours the intern will be needed each week. Will specific hours be adhered to, or will the schedule be more flexible? Applicants want to know up front what they will be paid, if anything. At this point specify whether the intern will be paid by project, by the hour, a stipend, or not at all. Remember that internships which at least offer a stipend will attract more qualified individuals.
Looking into the Future for Profits
How to identify future solutions and opportunities?
Small Business Survival Tips
No matter what kind of small business you have, you need read these "small business survival tips" which will help you to succeed.
The Wrap on Ag Plastic
While driving through Pennsylvania farmland, you have probably noticed an increased amount of white plastic bundles stacked in lines or piles along farm buildings or edges of farm fields. Sometimes referred to as "marshmallows" or "long white tubes", etc. these objects are increasing in farmer popularity and represent a changing trend in harvesting of farm livestock feeds.
The Care and Feeding of Your Small Business
While I was hard at work last week, an everyday drama was playing out in a hospital room in the next town. My niece was working on presenting me with a new great nephew. Tyler James came into the world Thursday afternoon, mother and child are both doing well. Naturally, I am able to discern at this early stage that the child is adorably cute, remarkably bright, and very advanced for his age. Takes after his Great Aunt, I'm sure.
Six Essential Skills to Business Success!
The following are six essential skills to business success. You may not have developed all of these skills, but like most things in life, you can by learning, practicing and determination. Implement these skills and you'll be on the right track.
The Most Important Decision of Your Massage Business Career
Don't you find that there are so many decisions you need to make each and every day regarding the direction of your massage practice. Especially if you are a solo-preneur or own your own massage business.
How to Avoid the Most Common Reasons for Small Business Failure
The life cycle of the typical small business is short and painful. It starts out with a dream and ends with a whimper. And in between, a struggle of Herculean proportions is played out as the owner tries to figure out why the business isn't succeeding.
Too Many Lawyers in Franchising Today
Attorneys and Lawyers are ruining the franchise industry. It is too bad too, because franchising represents over 400,000 businesses in our country and accounts for just over one-third of every consumer dollar spent in this country. By over regulating and over lawyering the industry we are weakening our free markets and suffocating our up and coming entrepreneurs.
Small Businesses With Work Trucks; A Warning
If you are a non-operator owner of many work trucks, you should keep your business credit card with you not leave it in one of the trucks. You should not issue them to employees without strict guidlines. Employees may tend to abuse credit cards by buying things that are not an emergency such as tires that are over priced instead of simply plugging a hole in a flat or spraying fix-a flat into the valve stem.
Computer Tips that Help Small Businesses Operate Profitably
When working properly, computers enable small businesses to make big business profits; however, get booted off your computer and you're suddenly starving. In most instances, computers usually act up due to lack of care by its owners. Here are four computer tips that'll keep you up and running smoothly.
Small Does Not Mean Invisible!
Running a business on the net these days can be like looking up into a clear night sky; it can leave you feeling very small and insignificant.
Collection Agency Selection
Frankly, given the legal and regulatory requirements involved in attempting to collect a debt, it makes as much sense to do it yourself as it does to try to remove your own appendix. A collection agency is, on the whole, much cheaper than a doctors - and lawyers. Do yourself a favor and let a professional collection agency handle this complex matter for you.
5 GREAT WAYS to Gain New Contacts
What are the 5 best ways to gain new contacts?
Shortcuts Will Kill Your Business
Think of your business as a living, breathing, organism. It requires you to give it a large portion of your time and effort in order for it to grow and flourish.
Window Cleaning Business Start Up
Should you buy a business opportunity or Franchise if you want to get into the window cleaning business? Or just start your own and work hard; grow the business into a full-time profession and expand from there? Let us talk briefly about window cleaning franchises is in general.
Seven Common Mistakes Made By Small Business Owners
Most new small businesses won't be in business this time next year. That's the cold hard facts. Though it is easy to start your own business, it takes a lot more to succeed in business. There are seven common mistakes made by small business owners. Let's explore them so you can avoid them.
Hispanic Small Business Advantage
One thing I have noticed in my travels to different markets is that Hispanic Small Business Owners have a very distinct advantage. They are friendly and very involved in their communities. Hispanic Business Men and Women are very socially active and if you look at their incredible unity, there is nothing slowing down this Hispanic Middle class from becoming upper classmen. They are incredible relationship builders and smart and savvy business people. Just look at the number of organizations propelling their simultaneous hard work ethics:
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