BWM 44/100 – About the necessity of networking ..

BWM 44/100 - Build with me SalesTrainerIn - valuing time
BWM 44/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn

“The necessity of networking” sounds pretty serious… I know… and I truly believe networking IS needed to be taken serious. Absolutely serious!

This is a lesson I hard to learn. I mean, I always knew that networking is important. But I didn’t know that it’s actually that essential. When you are in sales and recruiting as I have been for roughly 10 years networks are the source for your referrals and recommendation. But when you build a company networking is one of the number one tasks to do.

Networking in Germany

I always had the feeling that in Germany networking was essential especially for the very high hierarchy levels. You know I’m talking about these cliche weekends and off-sites where managing directors, C-level and board members close the biggest deals while playing golf. I mean obviously this is not the real world. I mean. This is part of the real world but only half of it. Also in Germany there are many, many opportunities to network in professional environments like organised clubs (Rotaract, Lions, Rotary etc. etc.). But how many of us do really do this? I used to be in networking organisations since I was in school. On a regular basis. Actually on a regular on-off basis… it simply didn’t have this much of a relevance. It was no priority.

Networking in the UK

Since I moved to the UK and especially since I started my company I learnt to understand that networking is one of the most, if not the single most important thing to do when you are in business. And when you want to succeed. I find myself going to networking events at 7 am in the morning. And guess what I am not the only one. For many people this is a priority appointment during office hours.  I also network a lot with likeminded people via Facebook groups or other professional networking groups like LinkedIn. I have received already so many incredible inputs. My thinking was challenged. I can pick a brain at any given time. I can deliver value to other people. I can be of help. It’s incredible. The results I achieved by simply talking and interacting with people are incredibly amazing.

Connected world

We are living a connected world. You can simply reach out to every one you want. It’s as simple as this. Only drop a message. How cool is that please?

Seriously I am totally bought into the whole networking hype and I think it should be an essential topic in school “how to network properly and why”.

How do you network?

BWM 21/100 – Constantly learning and my nerdy self

BWM – Learning – Day 20
BWM – Learning – Day 21

On this journey I am learning more than ever! It’s kind of cool and my nerdy self loves it. But it’s not always fun tho because when you are responsible for building a business you have no choice what to learn. You simply have to figure stuff out.

Learning about Social Media – the fun bits

Since I started this journey a year ago with my blog I levelled up my social media skills a lot. I started with a private Facebook page, a LinkedIn and a Xing profile and lots of no clue. Oh, I also had a not used Twitter and Instagram account.

In the meanwhile I run 4 Instagram pages, 2 Facebook “business” pages, 4 Twitter Accounts and also try to keep my other profiles up to date. Plus I write regular Blog posts, which I now also try to SEO optimise. Yes, I actually had no clue how the hack to do this until a couple of months. (SEO – search engine optimisation). I even have run my first paid ads.

Sounds like nothing special? For me it was. I never really bothered to much with Social Media and now got pretty addicted.

These kind of stuff are definitely the fun bits of being an one woman show.

Figuring everything out – also the not so cool bits

The bigger part of creating a business is of course not social media and stuff but to learn about taxes, registering a company, writing a business plan etc. This is another part of the journey that requires a lot of learning on the job and along the way.

I believe the only way to do it is to read a lot, stay informed and not to overthink stuff. In some cases like taxes these are necessities and needs to be done. So it’s best to just get into the action part asap.

Some other tasks like writing a business plan can actually be a lot fun. When you do it for yourself and for no one else, you can create an awesome roadmap and start getting concrete on where your journey shall lead you. Sometimes, especially when you write the plan for an investor pr a bank you will have to put it into a certain layout. But in most cases it’s just an amazing way to think things through, structure your thoughts and know where you are going.

 

BWM 19/100 – Everyone is NOT your customer!

BWM – You can't please everybody – Day 19
BWM – You can’t please every customer – Day 19

Everyone is NOT your customer! It’s simply not. Your product and also yourself is not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s OK.

When you look around we have plenty of choices where to buy stuff. Restaurants for example of coffee shops – there are PLENTY of them out there. And even when you have picked one there is still a lot of variations to pick from. You can pick salads – various ones, pasta – various styles, coffees – various brews…. we live in a world full of options.

The customer has the option

Every customer has the option to decide to go for a deal or not. It’s the same whether you sell food, drinks or something else like consulting services.

Let’s take my example. I am building a professional services company. I offer sales and recruitment training as well as personality assessments within a recruiting and coaching context. It’s a pretty decent product and I also got the qualifications. I worked roughly 10 years in sales – highend sales in different industries. I have a masters degree and understand the scientific and psychological underlying of the assessments. I am certified for the assessment. I worked in recruiting in different countries. And and and … there is a lot of stuff on my plus side.

MyNutShare - that's me
MyNutShare – that’s me, customer ready?

But I have a piercing. I wear a nose ring. A big, beaded, golden one. Some people think it’s cool. Some people don’t care. Some people know that there is more important stuff when doing business with someone then just a look. Some people think it’s inappropriate for the work place. It doesn’t fit a dress code. Or they simply think it’s ugly. That’s just the way it is.  My piercing might be for some people a reason not to do business with me.

Why I know this? Because they tell me.

But guess what – as a business owner you have a choice too

You don’t have to go for every customer. You don’t have to appeal to everyone. You simply don’t. You have a choice. Not everybody is your customer. You won’t by a product that is made for everybody right? You buy a product because you think “hell yeah, this is so me” and not because you think “cool, all the boring neighbours have one of these as well”.

The same “rule” can be used when talking about your branding, your style, yourself. You can either play the game like the most people. Get back into your line and hope not to get noticed. Or you can embrace who you are? The choice is yours.

It’s the same for products, the way you build your business and which story you tell. You simply can’t please everybody. And this shouldn’t be your goal! Create profiles of your target customers and go after them.

In a connected world like ours it’s even possible to cover a niche and rock it. For example if you want to produce shoes made of old teabags from tea that has been sourced sustainably. You probably could do this. There might be a couple of more obstacles in realising this and finding your customers but you probably could do it. What is important is that you sell a solution for a real problem. And that you are clear about WHY you are doing it. “People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you are doing it” as Simon Sinek would say.

And last, we are in it to win it. Aren’t we, female founders? Let’s enjoy the ride and smash our goals and feel good by doing it. #womeninbusinessrock

 

Build with me – Day 14 as a female founder and full-time entrepreneur

BWM – Build with me SalesTrainerIn and help me becoming an Entrepreneur – Day 14
BWM – Build with me SalesTrainerIn and help me becoming an Entrepreneur – Day 14

Being a founder is super exciting. Being able to create your own reality is super fun. Being in charge for your own salary etc. can be tensing. Being a one-man show means a LOT to do. These are just a couple of changes I am currently going through and thoughts I have.

Another questions I ask myself all the time is “Is it OK to take a day off, at the beginning?”. With a day off I mean not working the weekends, not working on Sundays. There are various, different opinions about this topic out there.

Massive action – hustle non stop

Some say as a new entrepreneur you have to set super high goals and smash the shit out of them. Yeah, I can get that. However, I believe this whole “massive action and we are all just working for the next 10 years to then retire” kind of thing is very very big on Instagram. Is this the real world? Is this even something one should want to aspire? I’m not sure. Where is the fun?

Smash it and recharge! Not your baby!

Some other camps say “yes, smash the shit out of your goals but don’t forget your real life”. LIVE! And I guess I am totally on this side. Of course, everyone who has the imagination of becoming ones one boss because they want to work less will probably get disappointed. This is not how it works I guess. You want to work less? Stay or get an office job with option for remote working and become more productive. I guess, this is the easiest way to work less. When you are alone there is a whole lot of work to do – you literally have to do everything. Of course, you can outsource but you still have to do the outsourcing bit and brief virtual assistants etc. on what to do.

Project Management – work it, Girl

This is something that is pretty challenging. Structuring the whole work load. It’s like a massive project that needs to be set up, managed and accomplished.  It’s great to have the opportunity to work this. It is what literally kicks me out of bed in the morning – although I am absolutely not a morning person.

Some advice, please?? 🙂

How do build your business? Have have been built your business? Any tipps? Would love to share some best practice and learn from experienced founders.

Thanks,

Stephanie