The Self-Starter

Business Relationship Management

Business Relationship ManagementSo, you have a great idea and want to start a business – good for you! Along with everything else you have to worry about (products, marketing, accounting, employees, profitability) you also need to beware of the hidden entrepreneurial danger. It lurks in the shadowy depths of good meetings, hot ideas and the expertise of others. It’s lack of follow through and general apathy.

It’s easy to cure your own apathy, especially when paychecks rely on project and task completion. The true self-starter is able to get others, that show less urgency, to operate on a schedule consistent with their needs.  Beware of your partners and suppliers holding up the show. If you want to be great, you’ll learn how to manage those relationships to work with the timetables that are needed for your business to be successful. It stinks, I know, because managing personal behavior is difficult enough – let alone someone else’s. But trust me, it’s necessary.

I believe it was Ben Franklin that said, “expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t happen.” If we were in church I’d be yelling preach. But we’re not so I’ll yell chuuch to ol’ Bennie F. What he says (or what I think he says) makes fantastic sense. Instead of being happy when it doesn’t happen, though, I’ve decided to proactively start to sit on vendors like park benches. It’s not fun and I’d much rather allow people to do what they say they’re going to do, when they say they’re going to do it. Unfortunately, it’s rare when that happens.

Setting up a process for managing the completion of projects when most effective for your peak profitability is key. Part of that strategy may be managing the behavior of a partner/vendor/employee to get things done in the way and time your business needs.

It’s funny, we (me included) are often talking about Customer Relationship Management tools. Sometimes I feel like we need a Business Relationship Management tool, to effectively manage communications with our business partners.Seriously, this idea could save a business or three. I wonder who can help me get this launched? Hmmmm…

Inquiring minds want to know – do you have any tips for managing relationships and keeping people on task?

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There is a Forest Around Those Trees

forest

I have to admit, sometimes I get into the minutiae like  a curler sweeping the stone toward the bullseye on the last slide of the gold medal match. It’s not my fault, I am a natural researcher, *shrugs* but I also realize that I can do this to my own detriment. I have a mantra, in business and writing, when this happens. “There is a forest around those trees” is my nomo rang ge kyo.  If I imagine a forest, sometimes it even works!

Though I’m not qualified to teach meditation, I swear by this technique.  What happens next, is I usually take a look at all those very specific parts and start reviewing it against the main point of my mission, or big idea. Step one is to ask the question, “does this have anything to do with the central theme”? If it does I can then attempt to ascertain, “does this enhance, confuse, or detract from my big idea”? If I’m honest with myself, I usually find that I’ve gone off track and am not creating a stronger business case or story. [Read more...]

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