Ah, summertime. Those lazy days filled with sunshine and easy-living are wonderful. Those days also provide you, my dear entrepreneur, with an
excellent opportunity to prepare for fourth quarter. You know, September through early November, the time when business people are both excited to start new projects then totally consumed with planning for next year.
If, like me, you court the business sector, summer is a great time to do a couple of important things:
1) Schedule "introductory" meetings with those in your field. One of the best referral sources is your own colleagues. Reach out and talk to somebody. You don't have to sell a thing. In fact, it's really best if the meeting is simply to get to know each other.
2) Set up meetings with desired clients in your target market. People will have time over the summer for a 30 minute meeting. Again, you're not selling. You're learning what challenges your client faces in the next six months, or why they haven't used conflict management services before. Just remember, don't contact more companies than you can comfortably keep in touch with for the next six months or longer.
3) Do market research. Take your laptop out for a walk. Sit in a park and use Hoovers to find out all the good stuff on your target market. It's important to know who's a leader in the field; what the next 12 months hold; who are competitors. And, Hoover's, the one stop B2B resource, can help with all of that (for a fee, of course).
Set a goal. How about four companies over the entire summer? And, do it. Right now, I'm researching listservs and other online discussion groups for ADR folks. If you belong to one of those, I'd love to hear about it. Drop me a note.
Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.