entrepreneur


Networking Tips for Introverts

NetworkingFORintroverts

Are you a small business owner that struggles with growing your business? Or you thinking about starting up a small business, but fear getting out there and building your network? This can be especially true for introverts, although the advice I’m going to provide you with will work for anyone – introverted or not!

There are several ways an introvert can successfully network, but the most important way to be most confident and successful is to prepare for networking in-advance. You can do this be preparing a “go to” list of questions that would be generic enough to work almost anywhere. Most people love to talk about themselves, so all you really have to do is be a good listener and know how to ask questions. When you take an interest in others, they most often take an interest in you, as well.

In-line at the grocery store? No problem. At a convention or summit? No problem. You can cater your questions to be a bit more specific if you know a bit about the other people that will be there (such as a specific industry conference, where you can ask industry-specific questions), or you can ask some generic questions, such as:

  • What do you do for a living?
  • What do you love most about what you do for a living?
  • How long have you worked there?
  • What is your biggest challenge in your line of work?
  • What is it like working there?
  • Where do you work?
  • How long have you been in that line of business?
  • How did you learn to do such and such?
  • Do you have any mentors? How did you find meet them?
  • Do you work every day? What are your workdays like?
  • How many people do you work with?

As with anything in life, being prepared removes a level of uncertainty and discomfort, so just prepare in advance and network like a rock star!

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17 Ways to Make Your Business Process Management More Efficient

17_ways_GoogleDocs

If you have days where you feel like you’ve just wasted a bunch of time unnecessarily, you probably have. There really isn’t a nice way to put it. Don’t feel defeated, and definitely do not keep “going through the motions”! There are better ways – more efficient ways! Spare yourself from further time loss frustration, and start being more efficient! There are a number of free tools out there that can help improve your business process management methods to make them more efficient, and save your time for more important tasks! Today, I’m going to focus on using Google Docs – an awesome and completely free tool option that anyone can use. Check out these 17 ways you can become more efficient in your business process management workflow simply by using Google Docs to help you out:

 

  1.  Set up a “Getting to know you” survey for new customers, clients, new teams, or new employees to fill out. This saves time for everyone, and compiles the inputs of everyone in one location. If you choose to share this information with others, it is as simple as sharing the link. If you wish you keep it private, though, you can!
  2. Set up a survey to obtain customer, employee, or team member’s feedback. This will also result in having all of the information compiled together in one place, so you can see if there are any overarching themes, or areas requiring deeper exploration.
  3. Set up a form to solicit your peers and colleagues as means for obtaining fresh ideas, and email the link to anyone you are seeking input from. You can keep this open so that it can be an ongoing “brainstorm” of ideas that you and your team or colleagues can collaborate and build on over time, and kept in an easily accessible place for all to use.
  4. Set up a Sheet to track key articles or information you want to save for referencing later, or to share with your team. This could also be an area to track key contact information, too.
  5. If you are trying to set up an event of some sort, you could track reservations via a Sheet or Form. This would work for a team Potluck lunch, a team-building trip, or a local training event. You can set up payment tracking options, preferences, and anything else you’d like to know! You can also set the sheets to be color coded for results, for example set it up so that red displays for those not going, while green displays for those who are.
  6. Are you responsible for sales or marketing? This is another way to track your prospects, who you’ve reached out to, when you’ve last reached out to them, and information on where you met/found them, etc.
  7. Want feedback on something you’re working on? Perhaps you’d like feedback from colleagues or your team members on a new website design? Set up a survey to obtain peer feedback, and share the link with everyone you’d like to receive feedback from. You can keep it open and collaborative, or quick and one-time entry only.
  8. If you are hosting a live learning event of some sort, you can use Google Docs to serve as a live input tool for participants to provide their input, notes, questions and comments, then provide the link to all attendee so they have the rollup of all inputs, questions, answers, highlights, key notes, etc. This is a great way for everyone to benefit from not only the live event, but from each other, too!
  9. Develop a survey to obtain the “before” benchmark before any learning event, and then provide the same surey after the event, to determine how successful it was in teaching the intent.
  10. Use a survey with a shared link to collaboratively allow your customers to build up the potential topic of your next Webinar / Teleseminar / Google Hangout / Skype session for them.
  11. Generate a “Help Topic” list for customers (especially on membership-type sites) where they can add topics and areas where they are seeking more help and information. You can then track your exact follow-up with each of them to keep them satisfied, track your own response times, and more!
  12. Survey your audience (clients, customer, fans) to determine the types of devices they have in their homes, how often they use them, which social networks they belong to, and which online sites they visit most (blogs, podcasts, etc.) to improve your understanding of their needs, the kind of tools they use most to consume your information, and to find out where others’ like them may be hanging out!
  13. Hold asynchronous brainstorm sessions for teams, or colleagues preparing to do a summit together regardless of the time zone they reside in. Nice, right?
  14. Set up a sheet to track desired professional development options, such as conferences, conventions, training courses, and then check off as each area is covered, obtained or achieved.
  15. Use Google Docs to track different applications or tools you are considering using. You can do a complete compare and contrast based on tool type, and continue to build upon it as needed.
  16. If you are like me, and do a lot of book reading for continuous growth and learning, you may find it helpful to track the books you read, along with key summaries of each. You could also make this information available to your team members so they can have a ready-access list of resources in areas they’d like to learn more about, or allow them to share the books they’ve also read!
  17. Use Google Docs to serve as your sign-up sheet for preparing a collaboration with other businesses (such as an online summit, for example). This will ensure each core area is being covered, and will provide the specific topic title and the person that will be covering it, so you can immediately see status of who you have signed up, and what is left to fill.

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