Hi. I'm Sean... an entrepreneur into creating successful business ideas for the social web. I run a digital strategy company called Freeworld Media.
This blog is where I talk about the intersections of my life... past, present and future.
Over the years, I’ve developed a list of personal guidelines that help me evaluate which business relationships and ideas to get involved with. I am regularly approached by people with the next big great idea and I’ve learned that it’s extremely important to stay focused and avoid the “shiny object syndrome”… especially with all the exciting ideas and opportunities floating around today.
With that in mind, this recent post from SImon Sinek’s Re:Focus blog caught my attention and I wanted to repost the four simple rules that have proven worthwhile to him.
These simple techniques ensure that the relationships I engage in offer true value and last for the long term.
1. Do a Background Check
Be it an individual or a company, it takes only a few minutes to google them and do a D&B check. On more than one occasion I’ve discovered that a company was on shaky ground before we worked with them.
2. Slow Down
So many deals, especially between small companies, are done with excitement and optimism driving them. Simply slowing down the process reveals so much. I slowed down a deal that was going too fast and it completely changed the dynamic of the relationship. The other party became more aggressive, more impatient with me. They seemed a little too keen to get the contract signed quickly. Good business relationships should not be built to go fast, they should be built to go far.
3. Start Small
No deal needs to be comprehensive from the start. A new relationship should start small. Doing so often reveals true intentions and, more importantly, allows you to test the relationship with less on the line. Instead of a complete rebranding, for example, start with just a logo and see how it works out. I won’t do a big deal with new relationships anymore. They all start small.
4. Don’t Work With Anyone in Trouble
Pay close attention to the kinds of things that are causing someone stress. If they seem to be under financial stress, either their business is not doing well or they are having personal money issues, do not engage with them. You cannot have a productive business relationship when someone is panicked about where their next pay check will come from. (note: there is a difference between not having a lot of money and being stressed about it).
There’s a delicate balance balance between being ahead of the curve and “first to market” … but I’ve learned the hard-way that ignoring any of these rules can come back to bite you in the butt if you aren’t paying attention. What else would you add to this list?
(image: Creative Commons / by orkboi )