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Business Preparation is Key!



The birds just wont leave me alone – they continue to entertain, educate and inspire!

I am watching a Song Thrush collecting twigs and grass for its nest. I am thinking it is quite late for her to start, but I am sure she will catch up lost time, and speed up the process of having and raising a family before the summer is over. In fact, she will have 2-4 clutches of eggs.

Business Preparation is Key

Courtesy of Honorni (Flickr)

Why was this song bird so picky about her pickings? It’s all to do with foundations. If we do not built a strong foundation, then the structure on which it stands, will not stand the test of time.

We have seen this in Ireland over the past two years. The structure that was our economy and public services was all built on a promise, not exactly a sound foundation on which to survive.

We know now that it would never last. We seemed to think that it would. So as I manage my business, I think of the initial work I put into the foundations laid down. It takes time to set up a business, that time varying depending on the type, size, shape and location – just like a nest!

So what needs to be in place, for the business to stand the test of time?

Nesting – Location, Location, LocationSEO

The fork of a tree is good, sturdy, secure place and the nest is least likely to fall. So where is your business to be located? If off-line and selling a product, then location is key. If off-line and selling a service, location is not so important, but the address and telephone code may be. If it is an on-line business, the foundation should be laid with a good web design, good SEO and SEM.

Feeding – Fueling the Business

The thrush feeds mainly on insects, being an Insectivore. They will snack on worms and fruit when available. They will eat snails only when they cannot dig out worms. So sustenance comes from a variety of areas. Make sure you fuel your business with expert advice and knowledge of the most sustaining kind, utilising the great resources available today. Only fuel your business with less nutritious fuel when necessary, like an economic downturn.

Is your voice heard in businessVoice – Is yours loud enough?

The thrush is one of the top 5 songbirds. It attracts attention with its song. How is your song sheet looking these days? Is your voice being heard in the market, the right market? Ensure you target the correct market for your business, this can be achieved through extensive research and vigilance.

Movements – Do you need to migrate?Going Global with your business

There is a lot of talk lately about going global. With the advances of technology, that possibility is now more likely. But do your research and make calculated decisions on whether you should migrate to sunnier climes – it can be a long arduous journey (ask the Thrush about air miles). There are some great posts here on Bloggertone about online global strategy including this one from Dermot Quirk.

Conservation – Staying afloat

The Song Thrush population is less than half what it used to be and so it is on the Red List. Sounds like half of the coEggs in a   Nestmpanies here in Ireland. We all know rough times follow ready times, so preparation is key. Saving for the raining day may not sound so archaic now! Or a possible strategy is to have all your eggs together in a short space of time, launch all your products close together to improve sustainability. But it needs to be thought through. Again research is the key here.

Conclusion:

Perhaps the thrush was not building a new nest, perhaps she was re-enforcing and delousing it for her next clutch. Perhaps she is re-adjusting her Business Plan, as she is having more clutches than she expected. This is a crucial element of revision, readjustment and reinforcement.

Constant vigilance is required if your business is to survive its foundations, the markets, and the weather. It needs to be strong enough to weather the storm when necessary. Are you keeping an eye on your Start-Up? Are you constantly revising and reviewing?

What tricks can you share below?



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The Author:

Elaine Rogers is a Business Training & Development Specialist. She provides training and coaching in the areas of IT Skills, Business Skills, and Soft Skills. Elaine has just launched a new online training store at http://www.thesmarttrain.com that provides videos and workshops in the areas of IT, Business and Soft Skills. http://www.thesmarttrain.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Hi Elaine, Meeting & getting to know the the right flock is also a pretty good idea. Don’t try to sell, rather focus on introducing yourself, your business & making a solid connection. Relationships don’t happen in one go, they take time & effort. By the way, has anyone ever told you you’re for the birds :-)

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    Niall,
    thanks for the comment – I have such a big garden, and a huge population of birds. They enrich my day for sure. They are enjoying the warm weather outside, I can hear them – they are pleased.

    It’s important to keep an eye on who is sitting on the electricity wire with you. Relationships definitely important :) If I was a Starling trying a “hard sell” on a Pigeon, he will promptly fly away, and I am left struggling to hold on to the bouncing wire (difficult with two little feet).

    So yes I agree, the flock is our network and it’s important to sustain the group rather than drive them away.

  • Anonymous

    As my hero Roy Keane once said – fail to prepare,prepare to fail.

    I would add “the ability the embrace change”

    Nice post!!

    Paul

  • http://blog.myprojecttracker.com Barney Austen

    Hi Elaine. I like the analogy – nature is very useful for helping shape a good post :). For me the one about the “voice” is probably the most challenging and one that I am still very much finding my feet in at the moment. I might be loud – but possibly not selective enough.

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    Of course I agree “Embrace Change” I wrote in more detail about it early one morning in an airport, waiting for a flight :) http://tweakyourbiz.com/growth/2010/04/02/witnessing-adaptability/

    Roy said may things, and I often use that quote (might mot be his originally) when giving Management, Leadership and Presentation Skills courses :)

    Thanks for commenting Paul

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    All I can say Barney is get out there and practice practice practice!!!I often put myself into challenging situations just to learn and grow and inevitably become stronger.I think if the voice is assertive, confident, knowledgeable and genuine – you cannot go wrong ;)

    Thanks for reading, and the comment

  • http://blog.myprojecttracker.com Barney Austen

    Will do :) Agree, practice is the only way to get better.

  • Tori Hawthorne

    That’s so true Niall,

    It is brilliant Niall, twitter introduced me to you ;) Its the moving it forward that takes the time and skill. Everyone is so determined to have Social media as part of their Business Plan they need to be sure they know how to get a return on the time spent Tweeting and Facebooking ;)

    Thanks for your comment Niall

    Tori

  • Steve Fitzpatrick

    If you’re making statements like “it has become apparent that businesses and consumers alike find it horrific to do and horrific to receive.” Then businesses really need to think about how much they are annoying people – more than helping them. Cold calling could be damaging your business more than building it.

    This whole article seems to be written about how businesses who are doing well using new mediums shouldn’t throw out old redundant ways of selling. Perhaps in your next article you may want to write about “increasing market share by paying for a much larger ad in the Yellow Pages for the 10 people left reading it”

  • Torihawthorne

    Hi there Steve,

    I am not for one minute suggesting Businesses that are doing well using new mediums should drop them for what you are suggesting is old and ‘redundant’
    This is about adapting methods that traditionally worked (and still do when done correctly) to working within a new faster paced environment… 

    Business and customers alike have difficulty with Cold Calling because some of the aggressive manors and approaches that cold callers have decided to use in recent years. Cold calling isn’t redundant it has evolved into Business Development, which is something that I know many still do.

    And It isn’t that Cold Calling doesn’t work this is about remembering that we still need to move from initial contact to meeting prospective clients. As I stated in this and the last blog post, this is Business Development that is still needed. I know many small Businesses that cant afford a small advert in the Yellow Pages (or similar), let alone a large one! So they chose Business Development calls. I am addressing the point to go about it correctly so it isn’t ‘horrific’.
    Thanks so much for your comment…

    Much appreciated
    Tori

  • http://twitter.com/virtualvip Jeff Yablon

    You’re missing a key point here.

    Regardless of the point of your cold call (and I’m limiting that term to mean “picking up the phone to reach out to a stranger”), it’s become nigh on impossible to get to people that way. Even people you know don’t pick up the phone any more.

  • Torihawthorne

    I believe calls are being answered. Businesses are afraid to miss possible business opportunities. The point here is we need to gain the skill set to make Business Development Calls and how to receive them. We have to get their attention and that’s where a good online plan can help taking prospects and making them sales.
    Thanks so much for your comment
    Tori

  • http://www.smartsolutions.ie/blog/ Elaine Rogers

    A hugely interesting read, especially as posts like this can bring out the best and worst in us as business owners. Certainly for me today, your points are very valid and make a lot of sense.

    I do believe that in todays world of business in Ireland, it certainly makes sense to meet and greet, even if that is initially online. If we can get from cold to even luke-warm, that is the beginnings of a relationship (which is a 2-way process) and veers away from polite spamming or perceived stalking :)

    Thanks Tori 

  • http://twitter.com/virtualvip Jeff Yablon

    Tori, your point is well put; to be good at sales you need to actually BE good at sales. But … I’m afraid I disagree with the base principle. Seriously, think about it; we ALL say “email me”, and only answer the phone live if we think there’s something in it for us (and rarely do)

  • Torihawthorne

    Maybe Jeff,
    But in my experience we need to take that “email me” further… I’m not advocating pestering pointless cold-calls, I’m talking about Researched Business Development. I believe we cannot build Business on email alone..
    Its a great topic for discussion, thanks for responding back
    Tori ;)

  • Torihawthorne

    Hi there Elaine,
    Online mediums have made connecting so much easier, but that’s where we as Business owners need to move them on to building a business relationship.
    I like “polite spamming or perceived stalking” ;) My next Blog is about how peoples perceptions have a lot to do with how Business Development is being received.  
    Thanks
    Tori