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Saturday, May 09, 2009

FRANCE: Decide What You are Doing

by Thierry Mazué
French Bureau Chief

Are you still doing what you've planned, maybe years ago?

Some time ago, you've decided to become an entrepreneur and to start your own business. The commitment implied hard work, lots of time and efforts. Providing a product or a service does not make any difference.

Depending on the level of success you've reached, you may have followed opportunities, generally based on customers requests. You started.

If you did, chances are you are still progressing in the same area.Therefore, you probably have a company's mission.

Stop changing your company's mission depending on customers' requests.

Decide for good what you are, what you are providing to your clients.
Be the best supplier ever, be excellent at what you are doing.
Chances are you will stand head and shoulders above your competitors.

I am working day in day out with entrepreneurs, small business owners. I can tell you that those who are struggling to survive take whatever business comes around them; they are not well know for their company's expertise. On the other hand, I've met a successful electrician. He owns a 12 years old company, works with 7 colleagues, and plan their activity for the coming... 6 months!

He is a real expert, as are most of his colleagues. They've just hired a young man, and they plan to train him for 8 months, having him work with a seasoned electrician. Each customer receives a detailed report including a plan of everything done.

Do his clients ask for more than electrical stuff ? Sure they do! Most of the time, they are asked : can you handle the painting ? the plumbing ? what about plasterboard ?

The answer is always the same : Sure, we work with XYZ. They handle all the painting we need. And you'll get the same answer for the other domains they are asked to. The have a team of professionals they work with. Whenever one of them signs a contract, 3 or 4 of them work together to handle the overall project. They are all independant companies, working closely together. And guess what : Each one of them has a unique expertise.

This is how they have a good view of the coming six months.

If networking is a contact sport, good networking is a team effort. It makes a hughe difference in business.

Successful entrepreneurs have a clear understanding on the importance of the mission of their

This is also true for large organizations. Just think a moment about it. What company do you know that has been successful for years, and continues to develop its activity following the same mission ?

I can name BNI : The mission of BNI is to help members increase their business through a structured, positive, and professional "word-of-mouth" program that enables them to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals.
I can't think about the amount of opportunities that came around this organization. Yet, for over 20 years, the mission defined at first has been followed. With more than 111,000 members, it clearly shows that among many, following its primary mission a company can reach a high level of success.

Posted to THE NATIONAL NETWORKER (TNNW). All rights reserved.

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