Spokane Regional Networking, Social Media, Professional and Business Development
I was selected by NYU to attend their WE2 conference with 249 other women-owned businesses in the U.S. An overarching theme at WE2 was scalability, which implies that the underlying business model offer the potential for economic growth. I get it and I can write volumes of my ‘potential’ scalability. It’s necessary to show it in an attempt to predict failure, but the reality is that there are risk factors to predicting economic growth as well. I am asking myself these questions and you should too:
1) Customer Behavior – Do they care? Are they retainable?
2) Recurring Revenue – is money being made while you sleep? If not, then what is the plan to get them in while you are awake? My model is transactional and I have added products that bring in monthly recurring revenue now.
3) Resources – Are they assets? What is the value of these resources to growth? Provisional assets will define your experience and delivery. I learned the hard way that there are “Ponzi Schemers” in the resource field. Truly be careful, especially when the economy is on the skids. When businesses need money, they will promise you anything to be your partner.
4) Rank your daily activities – which ones are crucial? As Seth Godin says “time spent doesn’t equal success”. I struggle with this. I have been told by one of my partners that my value is needed in growing the company, not the daily grind. I admit though that I am afraid if I turn my back on the daily grind, what I have built so far may lose its position.
5) Reliability – this is the nail in the coffin if you don’t get it right regarding partners and suppliers. Reliability = Accountability in my book and it’s a lost character trait. I say bring it back!
6) Cost – Initial, ongoing, future. I run a cash business. It is a service and it pays for itself as long as I personally am involved. The problem is expanding. Planning the cost of growth was somewhat delinquent on my part, however I’m working on it now.
7) Change – this is vital. No one ends up using their initial business plan. Are you flexible? There are aspects to my business that I am firm on because of the niche, however, over the last year I have made a few changes that give the business a bigger audience.
8) Confidence or Aggressiveness. Which one pays the bills? Being aggressive I say … ask Jennifer Hyman of Rent the Runway. I loved her story about turning objections from clothing designers into creating a new market for them. My “scalability” for confidence is off the charts. However, when I was at WE2, I had to laugh out loud at the aggressive behavior of the women attending. I loved it … for real. I was also wishing for an IV hook up to a few people – their blood type transferred to mine, not just for the aggressive gene but the luck and “who they know” quotient. As I was waiting my turn to speak to Arianna Huffington, no less than 10 women stepped in and interrupted when it was my turn. Being the southern gal I am, I just tolerated it and ended up walking out with her. She was polite and informative … worth the wait and at the end of the day, I was aggressive enough and received the information I needed. Yes … I’ll take aggressive over confident, some may argue it’s the same thing, but I don’t think so.