When I first joined linked in, I didn’t join any groups and just added key contacts, but over the last few months I have changed my approach and discovered the true value of linked in. I am now in 50 groups, some which a flit in and out of, when I join I always contribute with comments, discussion items and polls. When I see other group members I would like to meet I generally invite them to link in to me.
Recently I have discovered that putting your e mail address in your header information helps and people who would like to contact you can then make contact.
I know that Linked In say you shouldn’t connect to people you don’t know, but that seems crazy to me, when I go networking I don’t say I am not talking to you because I don’t know you. I believe making contact with people you don’t know gives you a chance to make new contacts, if you later don’t want to be associated with them you can delete them.
If you don’t know where you want to go, how do you know which direction to head off in? sounds simple doesn’t it, but I know for a fact that most businesses don’t have a plan and start in business because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Let’s not go mad, but start by setting out 5 things you want to achieve this year relating to income, markets, clients, systems etc. Then try to think about some overall objectives for the next 2 years, before you know it you will have a strategy for the next 3 years.
Then you can set some milestones and regularly check if you are on track.
If only it was that simple, I have seen lots of profitable business killed by cashflow. One of the major causes of this is slow paying clients or none paying clients, the problem is often made worse by having to pay staff and suppliers quickly or needing to invest in capital equipment.
It is true, that in time, profit will become cash, but be careful not to over trade and take on more work than your cashflow can sustain.
In short, if there isn’t any return, why are you doing it? what could you do instead?
It may seem odd, but many people go into business with no plan and no idea what return they might make, unfortunately, the reality is that without a profit sooner or later your business will die.
I know there are somethings you have to do, like pay tax and other compliance activities, but even these have a return because they save you from fines or worse.
So before you spend money ask yourself this question – what is my return on investment?