Build Business 2008: Wrap-up

This years SMPS Build Business conference was nothing short of great: great friends, great information, and great fun. Some of my personal highlights included speaking at CPSM day on Wednesday on Building a Company of Rainmakers, celebrating with friends at this year’s awards gala, and finally meeting Randy Pollock, Mark Buckshon, and Mel Lester in person. I would like to say a special thanks to Kevin Doyle who worked with me at length to make certain everything went smoothly on CPSM day.  Also, extra thanks to Ron Worth, Lisa Bowman, Michele Santiago, Mark DellaPietra, Bill Scott, Christine Chirichella and the rest of the SMPS National staff that made Build Business such a great success. I have enjoyed getting to know so many of the SMPS staff and I am nothing less than impressed at the incredible job they have done as SMPS continues to grow.

Later this week I will post a follow-up to Building a Company of Rainmakers for those of you that are now apart of this blog’s network after attending Wednesday’s seminar. Also check out the PSMJ Resources Blog that was also active during Build Business this year for additional follow-up from the conference.  Thanks for the great coverage Ed!

Thank you again SMPS, I look forward to seeing all of you next year in Las Vegas for Build Business 2009!

Build Success by Creating Value

It seems that almost every day I get an e-mail or note telling me about a new blog. Tracking several of these blogs I have found that often, after a sort time, the writer begins to realize that it takes a massive amount of time to regularly write compelling blogs. A common result of this realization is that the posts begin to slow and eventually the blog fades away.

Then, every once in awhile, I run across a new blog that inspires and opens my mind to new ideas.  These are the blogs that seem to begin filling a niche almost overnight.  On my blogroll you will find several such blogs that have lasted the test of time including Ford Harding’s blog and Mark Buckshon’s Construction Marketing Ideas blog. I’m going to step out on a limb and say that I believe I recently found another such blog, Mel Lester’s E-Quip blog.

Yesterday I tracked Mel Lester to his Business Edge website to find more about an obviously well known consultant, trainer, and coach.  What I found was probably the most common reason that people succeed: Mel has created value for anyone that visits his website through his articles page. Let me encourage you to visit Mel’s Business Edge website to view his articles page as the resources there provide great insight into a number of business topics from Strategic Planning to Productivity.

Ten Basic Business Principals

Mark Buckshon has again written an excellent post on business.  In it he identifies ten basic business principals that remind us “that the more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Here are my favorites:

3. Accidents happen. All the time. Plans are meant for constant change.

6. You have to have fun to succeed. Sure parts of your work may — and probably are — painful, but if you really don’t enjoy what you are doing, find out why, really quickly, and change things. Don’t do stuff just for the money.

7. It is really dumb to put anyone ‘down’ while you are acting high and mighty. It drives people nuts and makes enemies. I know I’ve done it, to my permanent regret.

8. It rarely helps to hold grudges. Sure, we should not be wimps if we are attacked or mistreated. But it is important to know when to move on.

And, my personal favorite:

10. People stay the same. Basic principals apply. Respect and recognize others and appreciate that great relationships are the essence of great business. New and old, through good and hard times, the entrepreneur who understands appreciates the basic rules of respect and integrity will succeed as fly-by-night operators come and go.

To read the other five principals visit Ten Basic Business Principals at the Construction Marketing Ideas blog.  Great insight Mark!

Web 2.0 From Marketing Theory to Reality

I had a great conversation with Matt Handal of Trauner Consulting Services yesterday regarding Web 2.0.  Many of us have read about marketing using Web 2.0, but most people struggle to understand how to add value to their company and build a strong return on investment (ROI) for their online efforts. 
Let me propose that Matt’s website Construction Netcast is a great example of what a successful Web 2.0 effort can look like.  Matt is succeeding by focusing on helping other people and in return reaping the benefits of increased name recognition and market positioning as an industry leader.  Note that Web 2.0 requires that you add value to others lives, if you don’t add value you will simply be skipped over.
At the end of our conversation I sent Matt several links to blogs that (in my opinion) are successfully integrating into the new web.  Below are several of the links (plus one or two more) that I sent him. There are some great things being written on each of these blogs, but probably of more interest might be the great ideas these blogs are themselves.  If you are looking to expand your Web 2.0 presence start by looking at Construction Netcast and these blogs for some ideas:
Duane Craig’s Construction Informer
Ruairi Glynn’s Interactive Architecture


Creative Networking

Cancun Beach UmbrellaI was reading some internet articles this morning on networking and ran across a great article by Fiona Robyn entitled “Creative Networking.”  In it she expands on five suggestions of how to be a good networker. 

Of special interest to me was her 5th suggestion, “Network with people you want to keep in touch with anyway.”  As I expand my network I often run across individuals that I like and respect; people that I truly desire to keep in touch with.  For me these individuals have included Hank Chase of Integrity Consulting, Mark Buckshon of Construction News and Report (blog: Construction Marketing Ideas), and Ken White of Architecture Incorporated.  I find it easy to network with these people simply because I enjoy their thoughts and respect their opinions. It is important to remember that networking isn’t bound by industry or location; networking is developing relationships that we can enjoy throughout our career and lives.

Let me leave you with a quote from Fiona’s article:

If you like and respect someone enough to keep in touch with them then that should be enough – you may be useful to each other’s careers at some point and you may not. Enjoy building your network and marvellous things will begin to happen!  

Marketing in a Recession – Part 2

“Over two-thirds (72 per cent) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now expecting a recession. However, under one third (28 per cent) have rewritten or adapted their marketing plan to prepare for it, according to research from marketing company New Brand Vision.

Ben Harris, MD of New Brand Vision, says: ‘Many SMEs were not in business during the last recession and won’t anticipate how they could be affected. It’s worrying that, with so many firms expecting a downturn, so few are actually taking steps to plan for it.'”

 Growth Business

How is it that so many firms believe we are headed for (or are currently in) a recession, yet so few are willing to adapt their marketing plans to effectively manage their future?  The reality is that most firms choose to “hold on tight” through a recession rather than proactively adapt to the changing market.  In my last post on Marketing in a Recession we discussed the ways that a firm can refine and reshape their marketing program.  I received numerous e-mails and calls from many of you discussing how you have effectively refined and reshaped your business (or plan to now) to meet the changing market.  Based on these discussions I wanted to pass along some additional resources that I hope you will find helpful: 

Marketing in a Recession: Additional Resources

The Canadian Marketing Association has a great post entitled: Recession-Proof Your Business: Focus on Current Customers

Ivan Misner in his blog Networking Now has a must read post entitled I Refuse to Participate in a Recession.

I like Wendi McGowan‘s 5-steps in her post on Recession Proof Your Business

Mark Riffey has a post from this morning on his blog Business is Personal relating to developing a plan for your business

For those of you in the A/E/C industry, let me refer you to Construction Marketing Ideas where Mark Buckshon continues to post relevant posts everyday on marketing

The Real Way to Network

“Networking is not about the ‘immediate’, nor is it about ‘take’. Effectively done, it is a long-term proposition.” Mark Buckshon

It is an honor to be mentioned in Mark Buckshon’s recent blog entitled ‘The Real Way to Network.”  Mark, the President of Construction News and Report, has a long history of excellent journalism and one of the best blogs in the A/E/C industry.  His many blogs relating to Networking are well worth reading. Check him out at: