One of the greatest aspects of getting to work at Web Teks is the freedom to seek out opportunities to enrich your own knowledge. I have recently been afforded the opportunity to attend several Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce events representing my company. Through these events I have learned more about small-to-medium sized business networking and have been able to practice forming new relationships. Although my day today job does not involve forming new relationships with potential clients, I wanted to understand more about the organic nature of these networks in order to have a better grasp on where our company is and where it will be going in the future.
At the first event I attended, we focused mainly on business development and economic issues that impact our area. An employee will often not face problems that a business owner will face; they are completely unique. I was able to interface with a state senator, several business owners, and other individuals who are involved with local commerce in order to discuss some the unique challenges that entrepreneurs face and how to look at the big picture and build upon a vision that takes years to create. Some of the issues we discussed were how to evoke an organization-wide desire to innovate, how to assess an area for potential business development, and how to measure and manage talent.
At the second event I was able to attend, we focused on the challenges that new business owners face. The conversations focused on the biggest mistakes that new business owners make, as well as the things that they can do to give themselves a potential edge against other business owners with whom they will need to compete. Without question, I can say that each entrepreneur I have met has a similar hunger for knowledge, success, and greatness. It is extremely inspiring to meet people who shrug off failure and instead look to the future for the next opportunity they will be able to create, both in fortune for themselves and for their customers. However, this desire needs to be metered with not only an understanding of business but a plan. I look forward to learning more about business on this scale and attending many more of these events in the future in order to network and learn.
My experience thus far has been limited to interfacing with peers and existing clients. I am only now beginning to recognize the importance of a thorough understanding of your product/service as it pertains to acquiring new clients. Without a comprehensive understanding of both your offering and your target, the effort to create tempting business relationships is an unwinnable battle. These events have helped me understand that one of the most important aspects of working at any company, especially a smaller one, is the ability to communicate effectively with both familiar coworkers, new potential lines of business, and existing clients. Building great things or providing great services are crucial to a successful enterprise, but so is the ability to convey your message to people with whom you may eventually form important business relationships.