Member Since: 3rd Sep 2009
23rd Apr 2015
The Wrong Ones are Interested!
Sadly my experience is that the people that need a bit of guidance generally have difficulty taking it. You can just see it in their face when I am talking.
On the other hand those that embrace it, we have a great relationship, but they could easily run without it. They are successful because they listen and sponge from all comers, without initial rejection or fear.
22nd Apr 2015
Every discipline should have its individual voice heard, for the entrepreneur at the centre to make a decision. Where I wilt is with accountants, who have never operated anything outside of a relatively academic practice, giving the feeling that they could run a clients business better than them. Which it is usually pretty clear they couldn't because they just don't have the skill-sets.
21st Apr 2015
'Everyone Thinks they Are a Retailer'
These were the remembered words of the Butlin's Retail Exec when I as Finance Exec was talking about retail to him. And he is right. It only takes a second of reflection to realise that clever people with special skills run Tesco's etc, not accountants, although many of us walk around the supermarket every week and think we could do a good job!
It makes me cringe when I read that completing a business plan or knowing about the cloud might constitute as business advice. In fact the last place I would go to is a High Street accountant for business advice. They're unlikely to have worn the commercial t-shirt and are likely too risk averse.
By all means offer financial business advice, but unless you truly know about marketing (in the full discipline sense) and the industry in question don't go near business advice.
My only concession is if you are a very careful sounding board and manage to make the business owner think widely and deeply about his or her own decisions.
17th Jan 2012
Linkedin is but one Marketing Channel
I don't really disagree with much if anything written here. But Linkedin has never got me any business that I am aware of. Just thought I would take 10 to relate my experiences.
I adopted Linkedin early and approached people to link with, who wondered what it was all about. Now I see we all have 100+ links and professionals at it like Mark have thousands. So I've spent some time and tried to play the game to see what would happen. But I've not spent hours on it.
But Mark's market I guess is accountants. Mine is hoteliers, restaurateurs and publicans, and whilst some of the former are joining, there are about none of the latter. Are hoteliers looking for accountants on Linkedin? I guess not. They come from referrals, or local knowledge. And I do direct telesales marketing.
So okay my links are in the main fellow professionals of other disciplines. The last people I seek to link with are accountants, unless I genuinely work with them. These people could refer work to me, and Linkedin could be part of that reminder that I exist process. But if I bother to look at other accountants profiles, in the main I look to see if they have any interesting clients to poach!
When I quote to a prospect I always refer them to my Linkedin page - and here I see a real value. They can read my background and see that I am connected in the hospitality industry. It also links to my website and vice versa.
I have never found anything fruitful in the discussions, which in the main seem to be consultants pretending to discuss their subject and show us how clever they are at the end. And yes there are lots of job adverts for working in Dubai!
I posted something in my relevant groups once asking if anyone knew an expert in business rates appeals. Really surprised that it fell on deaf ears, as it was a genuine business opportunity.
But for me Linkedin is very passive. I would always have a profile and I do look daily to see what my links are saying, and to post my own hospitality/finance comments. But an hotelier phoning me up following reading my profile on Linkedin - well I'll let you know if it happens!
If anyone wants to point out what I could do to improve those chances I would be very grateful.