Monday, April 04, 2016
In November, I started my own marketing and public relations business. It was a daunting leap to take, mainly due to the number of unanswered questions I had.
My mind would race from “What’s a P&L, and should I have one?” to “How do I land clients?” to “How am I going to sustain this 10 years down the road?” The Internet is a useful tool to seek answers, but nothing is more beneficial than sitting down with successful entrepreneurs who have gone through the same experiences and who have come out ahead.
Enter Mentoring Monday.
At Mentoring Monday — held Monday, April 4 at Christian Brothers University's Canale Arena — I had access to the best and brightest business women in Memphis, something that no other event offers. I took advantage of quality time with four incredible women, who left me armed with good advice and tasks at hand.
Here’s a snippet of what I learned:
- To strategically grow your business, hone in your business plan. Make it as detailed as possible, then utilize the Renaissance Business Center as feedback. – Joann Massey, director of minority- and women-owned business development for the City of Memphis
- Have your clients see you as their partner, not as just someone they hired. Communicate all strategy planning details with clients, so they know exactly what you are doing for their business. – Valerie Morris, president of Morris Marketing Group
- Understand client budgets. You can have the best, most detailed plan in the world, but it doesn’t matter if their budget won’t allow it. Being clear about expectations upfront helps alleviate uncomfortable situations down the road. – Laurie Tucker, co-founder and chief strategy officer for Calade Partners
- Master the art of the follow-up, the second follow-up, and the third follow-up. – Mary McDonald, founder and president of MCD Partners
The advice was constructive and helpful. Yet, one of the best benefits of Mentoring Monday is not what I learned while I was at the event. Even more valuable are the connections I established that have potential to last longer than just the few minutes I had with each mentor. These women want to see others succeed and want to help make it possible. The initial contacts I made today lay the groundwork for potential future relationships, ones that can grow over time.