How To Choose The Right Business Consultant For Your Small Business

Establishing a successful small business consulting relationship, and achieving the results that you want for your small business, can be very difficult.

This is because besides the money you will invest for the help – this person will enter your confidential world, guide you in making important decisions and will be with you for the long haul.

Here are some of the best suggestions on how to pick the right small business consultant for you – that will result in a win for both of you:

1. Are you compatible?- Compatibility is essential if you are going to build a long term relationship with someone…The same applies to a long term relationship with your consultant.

The question is can you see yourself working with this person over the long haul? Do they motivate you, inspire you, or most importantly meet the specific needs that you have?

The relationship should fit like a hand in a glove. If it doesn’t – keep looking.

2. Are they competent? You need a consultant that will help you create results – both short term (under 30 days) midterm (90 – 180 days) and long term (180 days – 5 years).

This is one of the reason that I try to get free advice from the consultant before I hire them. If I put it to practice and it works, then I can be more confident that this person can help me further.

If the consultant has a problem giving you advice upfront – look elsewhere.

3. Have they or anyone on their team actually built a business? This is where you find the consultants with true experience – and not just theory.

Granted, a good consultant does not need to have built and sold a million dollar business – but a great consultant will have.

Find out if they have built or sold a business – if not, they have to at least have someone on their team that has. If not, your business will look like theirs when they are finished with you.

4. Are they invested in you and your business’ welfare? The best consultants take ownership of your business and make it their own. They are the ones that are thinking about your business almost as much as you do.

Great consultants have a passion to see their clients succeed. They don’t see themselves as successful unless their clients are.

If your consultant is happy getting a paycheck for mediocre results – my advice is to fire them today.

5. Can they bring you results? Every consultant should be able to bring results equal to 3-5X what you invested into your consulting relationship. If you invest $500 a month – you should be bringing in at least $1500 a month through the consultants efforts.

This means that the you and your consultant should track your progress to make sure that everyone is winning.

After the first month – there should not be any excuses why you are not seeing results in your business.

Remember there are hundreds of things that a business can do to make more money in 30 days. If you do not see more money in 30 days – get your money back, or have your consultant give you a free extra month of services.

These are just a few specific requirements that consultants need to fulfill if you want to have a successful consulting relationship – and a successful business to boot.

Though the standards are high, remember that the vision that you have for your business depends on it.

How to Become a Business Consultant – A Second Career As a Business Consultant

Seasoned professionals have much wisdom to offer to younger, inexperienced business leaders. Many are choosing business consulting, also called management consulting, as a second career. The economic slump lately has business leaders seeking help from consultants who specialize in increasing efficiency and profitability. Learning how to become a business consultant is surprisingly simply. There are training courses that introduce students to the core fundamentals of consulting, the daily operational knowledge of a consulting business, and the ethics considerations involved in being a business consultant. Though business professionals have years of experience, before assessing someone else’s business and giving advice, they are wise to seek training that fills any gaps in their skill sets.

While successful business owners and CEO’s have used what worked for them, training courses covers the best practices of the industry. Learning the models, processes, methods, and formulas that have been proven through time and with many people is the first step in learning how to become a business consultant. It is an interesting experience to see how the methods a seasoned professional used fit into the strategies described in class. Case studies from the experienced consultant teaching the training course help students see how the methods are applied in the business world. However, the actual process of consulting has operations that can be done efficiently or inefficiently.

Courses that specialize in how to become a business consultant teach students the day-to-day systems that can help accomplish tasks in the most effective way, maximizing profits. Subjects like structuring consulting assignment, service line management and branding, and consulting delivery models are covered as students learn the ins and outs of the consulting role. Streamlining and increasing profits is one of the main goals of the consulting service, but this does not come at the expense of integrity. Ethics considerations and guidelines are taught to ensure true professionalism. A professional business consultant should never advise a client to do something that is unethical or illegal and should not engage in these activities themselves.

These training courses in how to become a business consultant are capped off by a qualifying exam that results in a certification credential. The Certified Business Consultant, or CBC, credential is a sign on business cards, resumes, and marketing materials of professionalism, knowledge, and trustworthiness. In the United States, the consulting industry is not regulated and education is not required to start consulting for profit. However, more and more savvy business leaders are checking for this credential to avoid shoddy advice.

How to Become a Business Consultant – Becoming a Business Consultant

Management consulting firms are being hired regularly these days as business leaders are attempting to avoid company failures. If you don’t know how to become a business consultant, you can learn through an online training course. These courses can be completed in as little as five months and are very inexpensive at less than a thousand dollars. They are highly specialized and culminate in a comprehensive, qualifying exam. When the students pass the exam, they have earned a certification credential, such as Certified Business Consultant, or CBC. This credential is valuable for resumes, business cards, websites, and more.

Though the certification is not required to become a business consultant, smart business leaders who are potential clients are more likely to hire someone who has a credential proving the ability to do the job. The training course in how to become a business consultant teaches potential consultants in the primary areas of the role. First, the course covers the core fundamentals and best practices of the consulting industry. These models, formulas, methods, and processes have been proven to work by many people across the years. Second, the curriculum includes information and tools to use in the daily operation of a consulting business.

In learning how to become a business consultant, students need to know how to structure consulting assignments, follow through on consulting delivery, over-deliver value to clients, retain clients, and manage and brand service lines. Finally, the professional level training gives students the ethics considerations and guidelines of the consulting field. Professional consultants should never participate or recommend a course of action that is unethical or illegal. Even while helping a business owner increase profits and become more efficient, consultants should hold high integrity and good business sense. The best training programs are taught be experienced professional business consultants who have worked in several fields of business. In light of the increasingly global economy, international experience by the instructor is also valuable.

Once you learn how to become a business consultant, there are several forms of employment which are common. Many business, or management, consultants are self-employed, owning and operating their own consulting business. Consulting firms also exist which hire many consultants, especially in a metropolitan area with many businesses to draw from as clients. Some large corporations hire management consultants to work in-house or even within a certain division in a very specialized area. Any of these consultants can focus on an area of expertise or size of business to primarily work with.

Tired of Doing the Same Boring Thing, Become a Business Consultant

Every day, small businesses and companies grapple with all sorts of problems. Business owners and executives sometimes have no clue as to how to handle these challenges which make their jobs more difficult, or cost the businesses to lose money.

These people need help.

And if you’re the type of person who can help these companies come up with solutions to their problems, you can have a successful career as a business consultant.

I’ve enjoyed the life of a business consultant for the last 8 years, and I can tell you that businesses of all sizes, and in all industries respect business consultants, and rely on them a great deal to help their businesses succeed.

What exact types of problems do business consultants help clients solve?

Any type of business problem:

Reputation Management
Increasing sales
Improving productivity and performance
Improving communication
Team building
Improving operational efficiency
Financial Audits
Risk Assessment
Insurance
And the list goes on and on

I know consultants who specialize in working with businesses in particular industries like manufacturing, health care, or waste management. There are other consultants who work with clients in a variety of industries, but concentrate on specific business functions, such as marketing, human resources, or information technology. and then there are those who specialize in certain industries and functions.

In my own case, I currently work as a high performance coach and marketing consultant focusing on Africa. With many western companies expanding to Africa, I get to help them reduce turnover and maximize performance through the implementation of high performance leadership and marketing principles.

There are many consultants who go on to work for large consulting firms; but there is huge opportunity for those who want to have their own business or work as freelance consultants.

If you have a decent amount of knowledge in your area of expertise, you can become a consultant helping businesses solve their problems, and earning a decent living for yourself.

And you can do all of this without any large start-up costs. In fact, you probably already have all that you need – a computer and phone – and much of your business is likely to come through low-cost marketing such as networking. This is what I do.

You can also start on a part-time basis, while keeping your current job as your primary source of income. Then as the demand for your services grows, you can commit to consulting fulltime if you so desire.

While many consultants do have Master’s degree, it is not a prerequisite. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need a degree to become a consultant. There are many independent consultants who don’t have degrees.

But they have education. And there’s a difference.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 28% of consultants do not have a degree of any kind. When I first started consulting, I did not even have a bachelor’s degree.

Those who succeed in this field of independent consulting are the ones who are constantly learning and improving themselves so they are able to serve their clients better.

The bottom line here is, if you have the ability to solve a business problem, and are confident enough to sell your services to senior management, you will get projects.

If you want to know if consulting is the career for you, here are some questions you need to be asking yourself:

Do people frequently ask for your advice?
Do you enjoy finding solutions to problems?
Are you a critical thinker?
Do you know a variety of problem-solving techniques?
Do you enjoy doing research?
Do you have a good vocabulary?
Do you avoid using jargon or technical terms that others may not understand?
Do people consider you to be a good listener?
Do you understand non-verbal communication such as body language?
Do you have excellent written communication skills?
Are you comfortable speaking in front of a group?
Do you have project management experience?
Can you see the big picture and break it down into manageable components?
Are you well-organized?
Do you meet deadlines?
Do you have experience leading teams?
Are you ethical in all your business practices?

The need for business consultants continues to grow especially as economies become though globally. There’s no better time to position yourself as an expert consultant in your field.

Catering Equipment for Year End Functions

It’s that time of the year when holiday cheer is in the air and companies are in full steam with planning their year-end functions. That means they are actively looking for a venue that will make their function a special one. They want to ensure that the venue looks good, food tastes great, and that all the facilities are there to make for a convenient and fun evening. Therefore, it is time for you to prepare your venue for the busy season ahead.

For small to large year-end functions you will need the following catering equipment.

· Robot Coupe Combo Food Processor. Food preparation is usually the lengthiest part of the cooking process. The Robot Coupe Combo Food Processor will enable you to automatically cut, slice, and grate vegetables thus saving you valuable time.

· Anvil Potato Peeler. If you’re serving hundreds of guests you’re going to have to peel a lot of potatoes. The Anvil Potato Peeler is a robust unit that automatically peels 12 kilograms of potatoes in 2 minutes.

· Chafing Dishes. For large numbers of guests, it can be challenging to keep a lot of food warm. They are also beautifully designed with a polished finish. This is a great way to keep food heated while it is waiting to be served.

· Bussing and Transport Carts. You’re going to need to clear up the dishes from at least 10 guest tables if you have a hundred guests. A bussing and transport cart will allow the waiters to quickly clear the tables and move the dishes to the kitchen. This will also minimize breakages.

· Water Jugs. Placing a jug of water and a jug of juice on each guest table will make them feel welcome.

· Dinnerware. For catering purposes you will need more than enough dinnerware such as plates, side plates, cups, and saucers. Also make sure you have drinks, wine, and champagne glasses. If you are serving a hundred people, ensure that you have dinnerware for 110 people. The additional amount of catering equipment is a contingency for any eventuality with breakages or damages.

· Urns. Once guests have had their meal they may want to enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea. Having a coffee/tea station with an urn filled with hot water will keep your guests satisfied.

· Scotsman Ice Machine. A lot of cool drinks and alcoholic drinks are usually served at year-end functions so the demand for ice is very high. You will need to provide ice for hundreds of guests and their multiple drinks. An ice machine constantly makes ice on demand so you won’t run out of ice mid function.

· Commercial Refrigeration. You will need to keep a lot of drinks cold throughout the function so make sure that you have a refrigerator that can accommodate all the drinks.

Cutting Costs Without Reducing Your Team

One of the things that many businesses around the world are notorious for is layoffs of their workers when they have to cut costs. It appears as though the least required asset for these companies is their workers. As brutal as it may sound, many businesses reduce their team sizes to reduce their costs every day. It is quite surprising because there are in fact dozens of different ways for businesses, especially small ones, to cut their costs without sending their employees home. Not to mention, small businesses aren’t in the best position to terminate their employees when they are already struggling with growth and expansion.

Let us first look at the circumstances and reasons why small businesses resort to firing their employees and terminating their contracts.

Reasons Why Businesses Terminate Their Employees

Your Employee’s Performance is below Requirements

The biggest and probably the most valid reason for firing an employee is when they are not able to perform according to the set targets. Despite this being a valid reason, you should always follow the complete procedure and let go of your employee most ethically and professionally possible. Tell them that they also have the right to quit a company when a company does not pay them as promised and vice versa.

Your Employee Isn’t Honest

You have noticed that your employee is not honest. They try to spend time doing nothing behind your back and are interested in things that they should not be concerned with. It is a risk to have such a worker working at the company.

Your Employee Is Having a Hard Time Assimilating

One of the reasons why many employees are not able to give their best is because they can’t fit in the culture of your workplace. It’s either their religious, personal or moral beliefs that don’t let them feel being a part of the team.

Your Employee Doesn’t Care

Believe it or not, some employees don’t care about the rules and regulations of your workplace and being at a professional place. They bully people around them, try to act pretentious, are not punctual and do not pay any attention to the dress code policy.

Your Employees Cost You Too Much

This is quite an oxymoronic situation where the people who bring you business are the ones costing you money. Sometimes, companies become financially weak, and the only way they have to reduce their costs is firing employees. This helps them save money on employee compensation, bonuses, and incentives.

Is Employee Termination the Only Way to Cut Costs?

Not at all! There are many other ways for companies to reduce their costs without letting go of their employees. Here are some.

Negotiations with Vendors and Suppliers

You can look into your current list of suppliers and vendors and look for opportunities to reduce costs. You have to realize that there are group purchasing organizations developed specifically for this purpose. Furthermore, there are online search engines designed specifically for businesses where you can find other businesses that can help you reduce your costs.

Buy in Bulk

One simple way to reduce your costs is to purchase in bulk. Whether you are buying products or subscribing to software or online platform services, bulk purchases will always help you reduce your costs. As a business, you are subscribed to dozens of different online services and buy various items on a monthly or weekly basis. Buy them for several months or a complete year to save your costs.

Reduce Lavish Expenses for Now

It is amazing that businesses offer their employees with refreshments, coffee, and teas for free, but there is a time when you can do this with ease. Until and unless you have reached a point where affording such luxuries do not bother you at all, do not introduce them.

Invest in the Right Technology

Whether you are buying an electric generator for your office, bulbs and lights, ceiling fans, air conditioning units or machinery, you must invest in latest and energy-efficient technology.

Market Wisely

Marketing can suck a lot of your capital out of business depending on the type of marketing you are doing. However, it will be rewarding for you if you use analytical data to narrow down only the marketing campaigns that are lucrative for your business. Spend on them and keep away from spending on marketing efforts that have not yielded any good results.

Similarly, you can find many other ways to reduce your costs without sending your employees home.

Risks Associated with Firing Your Employees

While firing your employees should be the last thing on your list of methods to cut costs, you must also know the many risks that come with employee termination. Here are a few.

Sharing of Company Secrets with Competitors

When employees are not happy with your decision of firing them, they may not care about what action you can take against them. They may go for interviews with your competitors and share your trade secrets. This can be a big set-back for you if your competitor decides to take advantage of the situation.

Lawsuits

When employees believe they have been fired based on unreasonable grounds, they may try to take you to court. If any wrongful termination is proved, it can be expensive for your company. Always be sure to complete the procedure of termination or make sure the termination is justified.

Attack on Brand Image through Social Media

Today, people have a voice, and some people are ready to listen to their voice. Social networking platforms are great places for employees to discredit your brand and slander your image if they believe they were terminated by you wrongfully.

Bad Performance of Existing Employees

It does not matter how much you care about your employees. They may have a stronger connection among themselves than they have with you. Therefore, when you terminate an employee and cause some dissention among the ranks.

So, it is highly recommended that you consider the many other ways of cutting costs for your small business before choosing to terminate your employees.

Win the Interview

Some people think that preparing for a job interview is fairly simple. Once you get the call to come in for one you essentially have the job unless you blow the interview. This is not to disrespect Walmart or McDonald’s but unless you are applying for a company like that, the interview process is not easy at all. In fact, getting the interview more times than not is easier than the actual interview itself. This pillar post is going to be for my viewers that are looking for a full-time job and hopefully it’s a highly looked at company.

The first step is having a great resume. There are plenty of good examples on the internet for samples but those are also mixed in with bad ones. Some keys things that you want in your resume are; having as many numbers as possible. It’s much more eye opening for an employer to see you raised over $10,000 in revenue during your 8 week internship than saying you raised a lot of money. Another thing is to make sure the formatting is done correctly. Make sure that everything lines up nicely and that you stay consistent on your word usage such as tenses. Also make sure to use a different starting word for the description of your prior positions. Then there are the more basic things such as make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes because that can instantly lose you an interview chance. LinkedIn is similar to your resume but where your resume should only include your most important and relevant things since it should only be a single full page, your LinkedIn page should include everything you’ve done. It should be a page that an employer can visit and see where you went to school, what you did there, how you did there, strengths, weaknesses, and any jobs you had up to this point.

Now if a company has asked you to come in for an interview, this is where you start researching that company. Everyone has many strengths and weaknesses, but this is where you need to see the companies values and what not and tie your best strengths to those values. It’s also where if you have a weakness of time management and their biggest thing is to have great time management, that’s a weakness you shouldn’t bring up. This next part isn’t always possible but now a days companies will let you know who you are interviewing with or it is the HR recruiter who told you that you have an interview. This is where you should look up the interviewer on LinkedIn, connect with them and learn some things about them. That way you can ask them questions more directed at them at the end of the interview. You should also ask your recruiter what specific position you are interviewing for so that you can plan accordingly for that one. Now it’s time for the dress code during an interview. Almost every job will want you to come in dressed business professional.

Even if they don’t say it, a common saying in business is that it is better to be overdressed than under dressed. For those who don’t know, business professional is a suit collared button down shirt with a suit jacket that matches the dress pants and a tie. I understand you might not already have a suit or that you don’t have the money to buy one. Some companies might understand and in that case you can just come in business casual which is business professional but without the suit jacket. If the company insists you be business professional which is understandable as you might need a suit during your job, such as if you’re visiting a client or on a company dinner. Then a possible substitute is to get one from Goodwill as they usually have an okay selection of them and can actually still be in pretty good condition. This is of course like a flat tire where it should only last you until you have the money to replace it with a real suit.

Now before the interview you should know exactly where the interview is happening at and any more specifics like if it’s in a specific room. If you are supposed to arrive at 10:00AM, leave so that you get there anytime from 8:00AM – 9:00AM. This will leave you plenty of time in case you get stuck in traffic, lost, or need to stop for something. The great part about getting there early is that you can continue to practice for the interview. One way of practicing is by looking up common asked interview questions so that you can be more confident going into the interview.

Now during the interview you’re going to want to shake every persons hand in the room whether there are two people or twenty. With the handshake make sure to have a firm grasp and go directly in, not from an upper angle or lower angle. Seems petty but some people think if you are coming in for the handshake from an upper angle, it’s you trying to show dominance. When shaking hands make sure to look the person in the eyes and introduce yourself. Then when you begin your interview make sure to calm yourself down. This will help you not to ramble on answers and or forget answers. If the interviewer asks a tough question, you don’t have to respond right away. Ask them if you can take a second to think about the answer. Most interviewers will like that you are willing to think first instead of going right into the answer. After the interview, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. NEVER SAY NO! That can ruin your entire interview because most interviewers are waiting for questions and asking none can leave them with a bad taste in their mouth. Make sure to have 2-3 pre-planned questions and then try to think of 2-3 questions during the interview. That way you can easily ask three or four questions. After you’re done with questions make sure to shake everyone’s hand again and thank them for their time. If you do all of these things correctly, there shouldn’t be a single employer who won’t hire you.

All Important of Business Card

Graphic Design for Small Businesses and organizations isn’t only offering a product or service and having cash in on it. Once you start a small business, there are several features, which have to have a personal and professional focus. One of those is promoting your brand. There are a few things too, which form the foundation of promoting and one of those is the business card. The principle function of promoting is to attract the target market. When accomplished in the correct way, it can yield wonderful results. Marketing experts and graphic designers, who specialize in graphic design for small businesses, have the knowledge and experience to attract your specific client or buyer through distinct marketing and promotional tactics. A business card (or minute card) should have every piece of information essential for someone to interact and conduct business with your company or organization. There are many styles of cards, and in fact, it is necessary to decide on the appropriate style for your firm. This is why hiring a professional whom specializes in graphic design for small businesses is so important.

The product or service themselves won’t always draw in buyers or clients when shown to individuals in a prepared way. To get to the customers who will use, buy or interact with your company, one of several methods used in promoting is choosing the right business card. A card with the very best graphics, typography and layout that connect emotionally with your perspective client is the key. Every single color and color combination possesses its own meaning. There are many benefits and consequences to the use of color when contemplating the feelings and emotions of the people you’re trying to attract. Which means, a hues participation in the overall design is an essential part in selecting the most appropriate appearance of your business card. Imagine if the colors (or hues) used in your card were actually repelling your target audience you are trying to attract.

The visuals that happen to be loved by people of a distinct audience change by age and gender as well. An example is flowers; if your business makes products that are devoted to girls, then introducing flowers as visual elements (graphics) of your card will most likely attract more buyers. If though, your target is a more mature female audience, the use of flowers could be conceived as contrived and repulse your buyers. Selecting the most appropriate graphics for the business card is about the mindset of the buyer and not the business owner. Let me repeat that so you truly get it. The look, feel and emotions tied to your business card are about the buyer, not you, the business owner. If your buyer connects a personal emotion with the artwork, or possibly a design and style, employed in the card, then almost absolutely that buyer will choose the firm utilizing that artwork, design or style. For this reason alone, it is very important to work with a professional that knows and understands graphic design for small businesses.

Why have a business card in the hands of everyone that works for you? A nicely manufactured card affirms the level professionalism regarding the organization. You need a business card that is designed well with accessibility to information for your customers to make contact with you. It must be styled to create a personal connection with the buyer as well. Your reputation is riding on your business card. The primary function of your business card is to get clients to call you. Your logo should be prominent to let people know who you are the minute they see your card. After this, your business card should clearly provide methods for the client to contact you. This can be a website, a smart phone or email but it is highly recommended to have all three. A marketing expert or graphic designer whom specializes in graphic design for small businesses can help point you in the right direction for the content for your particular niche or market. Business cards with the proper visuals, content and style can help you do this. Are you ready to secure a professionally designed business card right now?

Solution for Business Growth – Networking

Interacting with influential people in parties, and collecting their visiting cards is just a touch point. Capitalizing your business on this network is totally a different ball game.

It requires due diligence and dedication over the years to build a relationship for a solid network. Once you have done it becomes a derivative to your success.

Networking should not be a temporary activity, it has to be an ongoing process, even when you are not at your desk. Aspiring business leaders have to learn the strategic networking technique for rapid business growth.

Primary reasons for networking

Why is it desirable to build a network with influential people and business groups of your domain?

· Immediate access to all service providers and vendors

· Quick response rate for contract base hiring

· Full extension to peers help

· Never face an issue of work crisis

· Referrals from the third party

· Updates on the latest trends and technology related to your business.

· Share ideas with similar business groups

Common Business Networking Mistakes

If the success of your business depends on networking then why to leave any corner of networking untouched, no matter how small or big your business is.

Unlike your business location, your network is not limited to the physical address. It has to proliferate in all directions. There are tons of way to build the network that is often overlooked.

· Not connecting with other communities

When it comes to pairing with individuals, usually you choose the known path for connection which is social media. It might look promising connecting through it but it limits your network spectrum. You have to explore another dimension for networking as well. Try to connect to lesser known communities like “Quora” or register with a “common platform for service providers”. There are other multiple online platforms where you can confluence with same business groups like Tumblr, musical.ly, tinder, etc. depending on your domain expertise.

· Not connecting to Niche forum or group

If you really want to build a close relationship with your clients or domain experts, join a Niche “forum”. But joining too many forum sometimes becomes complicated, try to zero in two or three forum of your field. There are big companies that also join this forum to get solutions and you can connect with them instantly.

· Not justifying your acquaintance

Let your client find you with your skills. Networking becomes easy if your clients know your whereabouts. There are very few networking sites that have a portal built especially for employees, where employees can build and upload their portfolio. It helps the employee in two ways, building their own network and establishing themselves as a brand.

· Not Paying heed to referrals

You need to pay attention to referrals coming through the third party or from the vendor’s site. Take immediate follow-up and honor these referrals.

· Not using Reviews/Testimonial for networking

This is the most overlooked attribute by vendors. Many of them believe “Reviews and Comments” are solely made for critics. No, that’s not true. You can convert those critics to your potential client. Ask for “Reviews and Comments” from them, you can even ask for the area of improvement for better service. It will help you to identify your weak zone, and at the same time, you have the opportunity to build a positive image in front of your clients. So, always be ready to listen to your client and make a bond with them through Reviews/Testimonials.

· Not connecting actively with Co-workers

Connecting with co-workers actively helps you to share ideas and gain knowledge. You develop this special”give and take” relation with co-workers over a period of time. Your equation with them will decide how your network will expand.

· Not connecting to diverse population

Usually, it’s a human tendency to connect with like-minded people, which is OK. But if you want to build up a B2B network, then you need to break that cocoon and connect with a diverse population. Diversity gives you the perspective to think out of the box and implement new ideas in your business.

Some Key takeaways for Business Networking

· Make your social networking activity a key part of your daily work.

· Locate and join networking site where other members sell their service or product same as you

· Rather than building numbers focus on people that show interest in your service

· Don’t miss out the client by not joining a common networking platform or joining much later than you should be

· Use software tools or plugins to optimize your networking activity

Curate and Control Your Online Reputation

Shakespeare, in Act 2 of his circa 1603 play Othello, said it best: Reputation, reputation, reputation. It is the original personal brand and one of the defining realities of our lives. For Solopreneur consultants and other self-employed professionals, reputation governs the number and quality of projects made available to us and therefore, reputation impacts our income and the kind of life we’re able to live. It pays, in more ways than one, to cultivate a peerless reputation and guard it vigorously.

In the internet age that is especially so, in both the personal and professional sectors. Mistakes and mischaracterizations made in digital formats are extremely difficult to dodge, ignore, deny, or correct. One’s online reputation is the ultimate flypaper. Take steps to ensure that what sticks to your name is all good.

Images

Along with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest are the sites where images of you are most likely to be posted, by yourself and others. When cameras are around, meaning whenever anyone has a cell phone, which is about 24/7, make sure that your behavior represents you and your brand well.

There’s nothing wrong with being photographed in an obviously casual gathering. Just make sure that you (or others) are not in the midst of activities that could be misconstrued and reflect poorly on you sometime in the future. If you regularly appear in photos that you know or suspect will be posted to social media sites, counteract with a photo of your own that shows you at work, paid or volunteer. Balance your accounts, so to speak, and show that there is more to you than non-stop partying.

Content

Create and regularly post original content that makes you look smart, professional and successful. On your LinkedIn account, announce when you will attend a symposium, serve on a panel, teach a course or workshop and definitely broadcast the good news if you’ve recently earned a professional certification or advanced degree.

If you’ve presented a webinar, request the replay and turn it into a podcast for your website and YouTube. If you write a newsletter or blog, link it to your website and LinkedIn. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, produce streams of high-quality feed and images that convey the competencies and values that you want to be known for.

Twitter, Instagram and Facebook can feature glimpses into your personal life as well and it could all be for the good, as long as you are strategic about what is revealed. Your volunteer work is always a safe bet. Training for a marathon or even a fun and casual volleyball or softball league would be excellent. Your parent’s wedding anniversary party would make another good personal aspect to include in your online narrative. Be aware that narrative is the operative word. Create the story that you want to be told, in a manner that makes you look wonderful.

Search

About every three months, search your name and your company name in engines such as Bing, Google and Yahoo and see what comes up in the first 50 listings. Are you happy with what you see? Try keywords related to your business along with your city and check your professional reach in a more profound way.

If you find that your business has been reviewed in a negative and inaccurate way, contact the reviewing site and request that the offending post be removed. If customers have offered criticism that just may be constructive, address the matter. Apologize and offer your side of the story. Make amends if possible. By doing so, you’ll add to your credibility and customer service reputation.

It’s been reported that 70% of U.S. employment recruiters have rejected potential job candidates when something about them that was considered unsavory appeared on social media. Solopreneurs should assume that prospective clients will do the same. Maintaining and monitoring your online reputation has never been more important.