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Four Places to ‘Walk the Walk’

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Commentary by Stuart Crawford

RISMEDIA, Jan. 24, 2008-There are a number of great resources to building an awesome practice, however, a number of us struggle in simply following the simple recipes that are provided to us each day. How often do we attend a business seminar, get a load a great ideas and strategies (recipes), just to put them on a back burner at our office? So that leads me to ask, are you burning your business by forgetting about what could be cooking on your back burner?

Recipes that are provided for our business success are simply directions provided by professionals and others who have walked the walk and then they write out the recipe for us. What happens normally is similar to tasting your Great Aunt’s chocolate chip cookies made by someone else only to find that they just didn’t taste the way you remembered? When you state that they are not the way you remember them to be, the person that prepared them states that they just changed something small however it totally changed the end result. The same happens in business every day. There are a number of recipes out there for success, and when we stop to wonder why we did not have the same success as the other person, we compare what was different. Normally, it is because the recipe was not followed the way it was ‘written’ out.

Don’t fool yourself in your business; you need to follow what the recipe says. How else will your business grow and prosper? The recipe for your business success is a step by step process or guidelines outlined by industry experts in your specific industry. You can try to recreate the wheel if you wish and struggle through it, or you can take the lessons learned from those that have already walked the walk and get the upper hand on the competition in your marketplace.

The recipe factor is a simple process for small businesses to adopt in their business. However, finding a business coach, mentor or groups that can assist you in providing the directions and help needed to allow your growth can be a challenge. Here’s where you can turn to find resources to help you:

Industry Trade Shows – Trade shows and conferences is a great place to start networking with like-minded industry professionals. There are a number of others in search of mentorship, direction and leadership there, too.

Peer Groups – Peer groups are an awesome place for business owners to come together to share challenges and to assist each other in the growth of their business. Find a group made up of business professionals with a common goal.

Chamber of Commerce – Your local Chamber of Commerce is where business comes to network, learn and share insights and trends in your local business community. Many of the local Chambers will have groups in which you can participate in. The secret with maximizing your experience with any Chamber of Commerce is to participate. You need to be involved in order to acquire all the rewards Chamber or a networking organization has to offer.

Business Coaches – The right business coach can be the shining light your business needs and can provide you with a full cookbook of recipes. A business coach will assist you with preparation of your business right through the having it ready to serve. There is a number of business coaches serving many different markets-the trick is to find the right cook to make the recipes you prepare perfect.

Sometimes new ground recipes need to be written for the changes in the way we do business in the small business market. This is a great opportunity to create great new recipes for your own cookbook. Just like other recipes that you have learned from others, you need to be open to sharing your creations with others. There shouldn’t be any secret sauces when it comes to working in the business community.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to surround yourself with other business professionals that want to grow and share their knowledge with you. Everyone has a number of specialist skills that they can share with each other. For example, if your mentor group has a number of business owners from many different business markets, you may be able to share your expertise to develop your own recipe book for success in business.

Stuart Crawford is the Director of Business Development for IT Matters Inc., Calgary, Alberta’s award winning Microsoft Small Business Specialist. He can be reached at scrawford@itmatters.ca or via his Web site http://www.itmatters.ca.

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