Recently I met up with an old friend who is contemplating starting up a small business. We had a great discussion and I didn't want to lose the notes, so I thought I would share them with my readers. This discussion is divided into four sections: business structure, physical/virtual storefront, social media channels, and getting the word out. I undoubtedly missed some items; will update as I see holes.
Social media channels
Getting the word out
As mentioned above, these are pretty raw notes but hopefully notes that can be helpful. I hope there is a nugget or two which you find beneficial.
As a child and young adult I was very independent. Regardless of the situation, if I was doing something I was determined to do it myself and not ask for anyone's help. In my eyes asking for someone's help was akin to admitting defeat or somehow showing others that I was weak or incompetent. My attitude was "If someone else can do it, I can do it". How Naive.
Colleagues, I feel your pain on this issue.
Scenario #1: You’ve got a critical position that needs to be filled by a qualified candidate, and quick. For every day the position doesn’t get filled, your in-box fills up a bit more with work to be done because your unfilled position hasn’t been staffed. You see tons of resumes and have interviewed scores of candidates, but the rock star you’re looking for isn’t emerging. You refuse to “settle” for a mediocre candidate, but the work is piling up and you’ve got to do something.
Joseph Ellis, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, was suspended for a year from Mount Holyoke College for lying about serving in the Vietnam War.
So you're browsing Career Builder or reading the classifieds and you see the job of your dreams staring you right in the face. You brush up your resume, write a killer cover letter and send it in sealed with a kiss and a prayer. A week later, someone from HR calls telling you they'd like you to come in for an interview. Wahoo!!! So the hard part is over, now you've got the hard part left. To help you nail the interview and be sitting pretty in the job you've always wanted, keep these nuggets tucked in your bonnet:
A couple of years back I was engaged on a project to help recover an agile project run amok. The project was one of the first in the organization to use an agile development methodology and consisted of eight four-week sprints with six capability development teams. The project manager was a very theoretical scrum master who was more concerned with having an agile "design win" than he was with ensuring the business sponsor was satisfied with the project result. After about the third sprint there were significant issues with capabilities not working together, interfaces with external systems breaking, and problems with meeting sprint dates for committed capabilities. To save the project, we had to take a number of steps that violated the purist agile model but were necessary if we were going to keep moving forward on the project. Our implementation looked like a mishmash of agile and waterfall. It wasn't pretty, but we eventually got the project done.
I recently keynoted at a Project Management Symposium. During the symposium several executives provided perspective on the importance of Project Management to the organization. One of the executives centered his discussion around people having vision. I can imagine the reaction of some of the people in the room. "Yeah, right. I've got projects with impossible deadlines, my customer is breathing down my neck because she is not getting what she wants, my project team isn't dedicating enough time on my project, and budget cuts mean I have to figure out how to get more done with less. You want me to have vision? I can barely get things done as it is!"
I feel your pain, colleagues. But I also agree with the exec.
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