Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

 

Do you remember the first time you took a 10-meter dive? I still catch myself reliving that moment. My stomach bunched in knots, and I felt all shades of fear while doubt whirled around my head. Taking the plunge for the first time can be petrifying. But there are those who dive from great heights with ease, turning it into an art. Both my mind and my muscles confirmed that my first dive was far from perfect.

 

You don’t have to be a novice diver to empathize with the sensations “AHHHHHHHHH!” and “WHAT WAS I THINKING?” Life alone offers enough opportunities to take the figurative dive, especially when you open your first business. Just like with diving, there are techniques first time businessowners can keep in mind to get their business off on the right foot, despite the accompanying sensations of an emotional free-fall. 1. Ready. Are you ready? The best way to answer this question is to interview fellow business owners who survived the plunge and study how they did it. You need to wrap your mind around the paradigm shift of working for the man to becoming the man. Are you ready for people to depend on you for a paycheck? Are you ready for long hours and sleepless nights? Owning your own business holds great potential for fulfillment and financial success. However, business ownership will also be one of the most difficult things you will ever accomplish– are you ready for it?

2. Set. The next step is to ensure your business structure is sound and plan how you’ll launch it. When you’re diving, you must choose your landing: a belly flop, a pencil dive, a swan dive, or flailing around and hoping you won’t break something. This is comparable to structuring your business because it determines how you “land” once you’re serving customers. People often turn to franchising because they are investing in a business whose structure has been tested and proven successful. And there are a multitude of industries and sectors to choose from, so they can still own a business they are passionate about. Also, buying a franchise resembles hiring a personal trainer coach you on diving like a pro before your feet ever leave the rock.

3. Go. Once your feet are over nothing but air, remember there is no going back. From this point on, you need to be wholly devoted to landing your figurative dive. Have you ever seen a diver float back to solid ground after falling 5 of the 10-meters? Launching your business is no different.

As someone who’s been starting and growing businesses for the past 20 years, I can say it is the most difficult and most satisfying thing I’ve done (that includes my 10-meter dive!). If you would like to discuss starting your own business, feel free to contact me at @DScottAbbott or sabbott@fivestarfranchising.com.

 

The Power of Networking

Posted by admin under Networking

I have been in “business” since I was 15. The second job I landed (my first being Harvey’s, where I won employee of the month) was at McDonalds. Some would say that was an upgrade over Harvey’s. I can say that it was my first exposure to a well run franchise system complete with uniforms, state of the art video training and how to smile. While working at McDonalds, my father, who has been a great example of entrepreneurship suggested that I start a business. Having absolutely know idea what I was getting into I said sure.

Well four years later I grew under my Father’s mentorship a Canadian wide distribution business in the fishing arena. Walking into fishing shops across Canada I quickly learned the art of the sale and the power of networking. My Father had made many friends in the fishing business have spent far too much money at many of the same retailers I would soon sell my wares to. Without knowing it, I was using the power of networking to build my business from the 1st day I opened doors. During this time period I did not spend 1 dollar on any advertising or marketing. Everything was done through seminars, direct sales and the odd fishing article I would write for several publishers.

Today I run Five Star Painting, America’s 2nd largest painting franchise system with franchisees in Canada, the USA and Mexico. If it sounds like I am boasting somewhat, I can’t help it. I am very proud of what our team has accomplished. With this as a backdrop you may be able to guess what is the one of the most effective marketing tactics employed by our franchisees. Networking. It represents nearly 30% of each franchisee’s business, and has among the highest close ratios on estimates. The cost of networking is time and a few dollars, but the power of networking pays dividends for years. It is the foundation of success for many of America’s small businesses.

If you are just starting out and would like some shortcut tips here are a few of best groups to hit up for a good network.

BNI – networking group that comes with a small membership fee and regular breakfast meetings. The group is focused on lead generation through the network

LeTip –¬† similar to BNI

Chamber of commerce – honestly I can say that the success of your chamber membership depends largely on how the chamber is run. I have seen great success to nothing.

Twitter

Linkedin – this one is a must for any business professional.

If you have other networking groups you think should be added feel free to leave a comment.

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