Maintaining Your Professional Edge
by Robert Middleton, Action Plan Marketing
- Read books and magazines on business, marketing entrepreneurship, etc. This is your lowest cost resource to give you insight and perspective on how to make your business more successful. I’m assuming you subscribe to Success and Inc. Magazines, amongst others. If not, you’re missing out on what is happening in business today. A big mistake. I assume you read at least one business book every other month. You don’t? How are you going to generate new ideas to stay ahead?
- Listen to cassette tape programs. If you commute more than 10 minutes to work each day you can benefit from a wide variety of taped programs on business, marketing, sales, motivation etc. These programs are relatively inexpensive, you can listen to them over and over and they have a different impact than reading. I suggest you contact Nightingale Connant and get their most recent catalog: 1-800-323-3938.
- Join and participate in your professional organization or chamber of commerce. Go to their monthly programs. Get to know your fellow members. Share ideas and meet with members to form more solid business alliances. You can’t succeed in business today if you’re totally isolated.
- Attend workshops and seminars. Unlike books and taped programs, a live seminar or workshop provides a more powerful, immediate experience. You can get your specific questions answered. You can network with participants and talk to the presenter directly. If you can get a copy of the program on tape as well, so much the better.
- Create a Mastermind group. Napoleon Hill championed this concept back in the 30’s but it’s still as valid today. Get together with a small group of your peers and focus exclusively on helping each other achieve your goals. I suggest a regular meeting -- from once a week to once a month. Make sure you both contribute to other members and get contributed to.
- Join a "Leads" club. This form of networking is ideal for small businesses. Only one business from each category can attend meetings (which are typically held weekly). Your purpose, unlike a mastermind group, is to provide leads for each other. This kind of group works best for consumer-type services like realtors, dentists, insurance agents and chiropractors.
- Get coaching from a business coach or consultant. This may be the most expensive form of support, but it can also be the most cost-effective in the long run. A few meetings with someone knowedgable about business or marketing can help you get moving in the right direction, often saving you thousdands and thousands of dollars, helping you increase your personal effectiveness and reveal opportunities that were once invisible to you.
- Take advantage of the services of Action Plan Marketing.
We can’t help you with all of the above. But we do have a great marketing bookstore: www.actionplan.com/books.html and have dozens of articles relevant
to service businesses: www.actionplan.com/flash.html We carry tapes of some of our marketing programs: www.actionplan.com/products.html, we hold workshops on marketing: www.actionplan.com/workshop.htm, do coaching and consulting for
service businesses: www.actionplan.com/marketst.html.
Any and all of the above activities will get you beyond your narrow comfort zone, and looking at your business from a new perspective. With the rate of change these days can you afford to rely on what you now know and hope to stay ahead? I don’t think so!
Now that you’ve read all of this, you might conclude that you need marketing help. Robert Middleton has been helping service businesses attract new clients since 1984. You can contact him at:
Action Plan MarketingEmail: [email protected]
378 Cambridge Avenue, Suite B
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Tel: (650) 321-4449
Fax: (650) 321-6646
More Clients Ezine!
One thing is a given when you’re self-employed: you’re on your own with only your talent, wits and perseverance. A few weeks ago I talked about the necessity of having a network that could assist you when you needed help. I was talking about help with client projects by tapping into your own personal "knowledge network." Such a network can increase the value you provide to your clients. But often a more pressing issue is, what support do you get to keep YOU on track? It’s been my observation from working with hundreds of clients that virtually no one gets the kind of support they need. There are all kinds of resources for support. Which ones are you taking advantage of?