Tag Archive for: building your business

When you’re building your Board of Directors (BOD) and joining boards of other businesses, you need to keep your focus. It should be an exclusive club that not everyone can join. Don’t get others involved because they’re friendly or you think it may land you a short-term gain. What are your needs and goals? How can others help you satisfy those needs and achieve those goals? After you’ve figured that out, work with those who are a good fit, not a convenient fit.

What Do You Need From a Director?

You may have started a business because you’re very good at making or doing something and you enjoy doing it (which is probably why you’re good at it). But you don’t know all you need to know about business and lack some essential skills. A BOD can give you advice, share some tips, and connect you with other businesses that might help you overcome your weaknesses. If you’re terrible at numbers, hire a bookkeeper or accountant. If you’re disorganized, consider hiring a digital assistant.

Your BOD should also be people who have your back while you have theirs. You’re working together so everyone can succeed in the fastest and least painful way possible. In the future, you could brag about all the mistakes you overcame and all the problems you resolved, or you could prevent mistakes, avoid problems, and meet your sales goals. Your business’s story will be less interesting, but you’ll probably have more money and less stress.

How Do You Choose Board Members?

You have to admit you’re not perfect and you can’t do everything yourself, which can be difficult for some people. If you don’t have a business plan, create one. You can get lots of help, some of it for free, when you do this (SCORE is one option and the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers are another). After your plan is complete, decide what aspects you know the least about. Try to find someone who can help you in that area, while you help them in ways that serve them.

Unless your business is a smashing success from day one, you need to generate a sales pipeline. These are prospects and potential customers within your reach. Your pipeline will leak, so you can’t count on business from all those connected to you.

How Can This Person Help You Reach Your Goals?

You, like all business owners, need long-term connections to generate sales. It’s far easier and cheaper to keep existing customers happy and develop new business from them rather than focusing just on creating new customers. Directors who aid you, in the long run, may also help you generate clients and customers who will stay with you over time.

A possible customer may be a convenient addition to your BOD, and it may or may not be a good idea. Don’t add someone to generate a sale then lose interest in them. They’ll feel used and probably say bad things about you, which is never good when creating business relationships.

You could try to kill two birds with one stone if that person’s a good fit for your BOD. You may get a sale and the person may have many reliable connections that could help you in the long term. They might also bring valuable industry experience and knowledge to your BOD.

Take the Next Step. Contact Coaches for CEOs

Recruiting for your BOD is not about racking up quick scores, the focus should be on success today and in the future. You need the right people on your BOD to help you go in the right direction, not cause a temporary distraction.

Your board of directors can be the foundation of your sales machine. They can champion your business while you return the favor. Contact me to learn more about how cooperating with others can grow your business. Fill out my contact form so we can talk about your company and how you can join a Zoom seminar to learn more.

There are many ways to build your network of connections when you own a small business or work independently (think realtor or financial planner). Only time and experience will show you which ones are most effective for you. Even if you’re shy or unsure of yourself, you need to network to grow your connections and develop the Board of Directors (BOD) that can be critical to your success.

The point of a Network Constellation is to help each other. You’ll provide leads and contacts to them, they return the favor. You find the right people who are willing to invest their time and energy in helping you develop your business, while you do the same for theirs.

Networking Beyond Networking

Networking can happen in any kind of event, whether that’s a business association, a chamber of commerce, or a group of people involved in the same industry. As we learned during the pandemic, networking groups need not be in person. In our Coaching for CEOs program, we have a Zoom call twice per month and several virtual BOD meetings.  

Networking need not happen just at “networking” groups. It can happen anywhere you meet people and have the opportunity to strike up a conversation. It could be after church, at your daughter’s Little League game, or when you chat with someone sitting next to you on a plane. You can start talking about business, the other person may too, and you find you’re a good match.  Most importantly, make sure that those you invite into your networking constellation understand that this is a reciprocal relationship.  

No Networking for the Sake of Networking

You can put together your Constellation through focused networking. It’s nice to meet new people and they may have interesting stories to tell, but your goal is to grow your business. When you network, your goals should be finding someone who may:

  • Directly or indirectly provide you a sale
  • Be a good fit for your BOD
  • Own a business that has a BOD that you might be a good fit for

Many events allow attendees time for “30-second elevator speeches.” They can help you reach those who interest you. Give each event a purpose by setting goals for phone calls you’ll make and meetings you’ll have after the event.

Once you get the ball rolling with BOD members, ask them who they think might be a good match for your business (or you for their business). This word of mouth can be much more effective and efficient than making the rounds of networking meetings and hoping to stumble upon someone, but it will take some time.

Which Stars Fit Your Constellation?

Who are your customers? Who do they do business with? Your stars are those with ongoing, well-developed relationships with people or businesses who are your customers. But it’s not that simple. They must also see the wisdom of being on your BOD and you joining theirs. These relationships can take time to develop and there may be bumps in the road. But if you stay the course, the help you get from your BOD can make growing your business easier and less time-consuming.

Investing the time and energy to create your Constellation should give you a great return on your investment in the future. Are you ready to do it?

Take the Next Step. Contact Coaches for CEOs

Your BOD can fuel your sales machine. They can champion your business while you do the same for theirs. Contact me to learn more about how working with others can grow your business. Fill out my contact form so we can talk about your company and how you can join a Zoom seminar to learn more.

Your board of directors is there to help you. Why not return the favor? They’re reaching out to those they know to find opportunities and business connections for you. Are you ready to do the same for them? You never know who you’ll meet, including the biggest customer one of your directors ever got – thanks to you.

Wait? A board of directors for your small business? Yes! We call it a BOD here at Coaching for CEOs. Your BOD is made up of business connections who make a deliberate intent to contribute to the bottom line of your business.  

As the pandemic (hopefully) winds down, friends, family, and other business people will be getting together for the first time in months. We’ll be enjoying that human connection many of us missed living behind our computer screens. What will you talk about?

Small talk is all about asking open-ended questions. Make the other person the focus of the conversation and actively listen to what they’re saying. They’ll probably appreciate the attention and think you’re really smart if you’re interested in them.

Your Board Members May Need Many Things. Might This Person Help?

Keep a mental list of what your partners do and what they’re looking for. Their priority may be increasing sales, finding a supplier, a contractor or investor, or filling job vacancies. Try to figure out how the one you’re talking to, or someone they know, might fill one of these needs.

Come up with questions you can ask those you meet to find details that can help a board member (maybe even more than one). Start very broadly, with open-ended questions, then get more specific. You might find out more about their social circles, who they work for, and whether they might be someone your board members are looking for.

Once you have narrowed down which board member this person might help, they may open up more if you state you are asking for a friend, not for yourself: someone you are connected with who helps you with your business does _____ and is looking for help with _____.

Ask Specific Questions If You Think the Person Might Be a Good Fit

If the person recently got married, got a divorce, had a child, bought a house, or is heavily involved in a charity, your board member-attorney-friend who does estate planning would probably like you to ask if they have a will. If so, you could ask if it’s been updated to reflect their current goals, like making sure their assets will help their child or support that nonprofit. If not, creating one would be a good idea.

Your board member selling life insurance would also probably love to chat with that same person. Someone going through major life changes should review their existing coverage or buy a policy. Proceeds could pay off a mortgage, support a child, or benefit a charity. Tell them a friend sells insurance, and it is something they should think about.

Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows. If your board member works for a mortgage lender, and if the person owns a home, you could ask if they’ve refinanced their mortgage recently. That board member, or the one who is a real estate agent, would like you to ask if they plan on selling their home to buy a new one.

Both those industries are having record years. Maybe these board members need help keeping up and are looking to hire new employees. If you meet someone who doesn’t sound happy with their current job or is actively looking for work, they might be a good fit. Tell them you know someone who is hiring and offer to connect them to your board member.

Speak Up for Your Board Members

Your board members need help too, and reaching on their behalf is a great way to do it. Not only might they link you with possible clients or customers, but they are also a valuable resource who can answer questions or give advice. When you join Coaching for CEOs, you create business connections and have access to business partners who will help you build reciprocal relationships.

Want to learn more about how to leverage your relationships and grow your business? Fill out my contact form and attend one of my online seminars. Let’s start the conversation about how we can help ourselves and others.

Are you attempting to build a business but cannot seem to bring in the right leads? Are your sales down? Do you want to do more to market your business? Some of us are natural promoters. For others, being the center of attention might be the last thing you want. If you own a business and that’s how you feel, it’s something you’ll have to manage. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to generate sales without getting into the “limelight” in some way. However, it’s not nearly as bad as you think, and there are many ways to accomplish this without being a carnival barker for your company.

Do Your Friends, Family, and Connections Know What You Do? 

When it comes to “getting the word out,” these people are low-hanging fruit. They know and care about you. You never know who they might know, who their neighbors, co-workers, or in-laws might be. Friends and family should be happy to refer you to people who need your help. It’s a win-win for them. You sell a service or product that their family or friend needs. They make a connection and everyone’s happy.

Make Appointments With Key Individuals Who Make Money From You

Take some time and track where your spending goes. There will be some who will be of no help, like the IRS, but others may be like you, business owners looking to expand their connections:

  • Who repairs and maintains your vehicle?
  • Do you regularly buy vehicles from the same dealer?
  • Who maintains your heating system and air conditioning?
  • Who’s your insurance agent?
  • Do you rely on a contractor for home repairs or maintenance?
  • Do you use an accountant?
  • If you’re active in politics, did you donate to or volunteer for a candidate?
  • Do you hire a music teacher or private coach for your kids?
  • Do you regularly go to a gym?

These individuals may have contacts with all kinds of people. Arrange a meeting at a time and day convenient for them, make it short, and tell your story:

  • Tell them who you can help and how
  • Ask them to keep their “ears open” for opportunities and introductions to those who may be customers or referral sources
  • Offer to return the favor. Who do they help? What kinds of customers do they seek? Who would be a good connection for them?


LinkedIn is a social media platform focused on professionals, businesses, and organizations. It has about 700 million members worldwide. You can start for free, but your ability to find and connect with others improves as you pay for more expensive subscriptions.

Like any social media, it may not cost money, but getting results will take time and energy. You should engage other users, make connections, and post articles to show your knowledge and expertise. Like anything else, the more you put into LinkedIn, the more you can get out of it.

Testimonials From Clients

If you have happy clients willing to write a testimonial or shoot a video about your excellent work, that’s free and very valuable content. You can post it on your website and the social media you use (especially LinkedIn). If your product or service is something visual, a video from the client showing your work can be very effective.

This is what marketers call “social proof.” We don’t always have the time and energy to determine who we should hire or buy from, so we rely on others’ opinions. It’s why Amazon includes product reviews and why their purchasers use them.


You could provide a live video of a presentation, talk to a satisfied customer, or discuss with someone important issues your clients face. It could be on Facebook Live or YouTube. Recordings can be saved and accessed by others later. You can send promotional emails before going live and afterward email links to saved recordings to current and potential customers.


I train others to get the most sales for their businesses with the least time, effort, and cost. It’s all about cooperating and working with others, referring business back and forth, but in a way that’s much more effective than networking groups or chambers of commerce.

If you want to learn more about leveraging your relationships and growing your business, fill out my contact form and attend one of my online seminars. Let’s start the conversation about how we can help ourselves and others.

COVID-19 has upended the world and many relationships since March. What hasn’t changed is the need for your business to grow. Depending on your industry, this year may have been a struggle, or you may be doing very well. Whether you need to turn the corner or continue to succeed, it is always a good time to create new business relationships and strengthen existing ones.

There’s a Lot More Than Talking, Shaking Hands, Exchanging Cards, and Drinking Coffee

We’ve all been to networking meetings, lunches, and presentations. They’re now on Zoom, so there are fewer human connections to make. Some groups require you to pay to belong and send referrals to others. Those approaches may work for some, and maybe they’ve worked for you, but they’re mostly a lot of time and effort with not much in return.

Business relationships are not created by handing out cards and going to lunch. They’re formed when two professionals have a deliberate intention to contribute to each other’s bottom line. It’s an approach that’s much more focused and effective.

Networking groups generally have the same idea, but the commitment isn’t there. When you meet someone at a networking group, you may try to figure out who the two of you know, who might connect with whom to help each other out. It is all very nice, but the difference is like playing in a softball bar league and the Major Leagues. It’s a whole different level.

Build a Business Relationship and a Board of Directors

Come with your hand up, not with your hand out. How can you help another individual build their business? How can you help them make money right now? These are the questions you should ask yourselves.

Build a board of directors (BOD) for your business, know what each member does, and join their BOD. Survey other connections and prospects on behalf of your BOD. Go through a mental checklist of members.

  • What’s their service?
  • What do they sell?
  • What problems do they solve?
  • Who are their target prospects?

If a realtor is on your BOD, or you’re on their BOD, ask someone you know, “Are you looking to buy or sell a house in the next year?” If so, not only may your realtor friend want the business, but your BOD member who does home repair or sells insurance might be interested as well.

Create connections that will help you and others. Be ready to introduce your client to that realtor. Schedule a call or get them on the phone right away while the issue is on the top of the person’s mind. Follow up with a phone call, text, or email. Follow-up is critical for your own sales and helping others.

Business love is not a thank you, a handshake, or a warm fuzzy feeling.  It is a collaborative partnership that yields opportunities and money for everyone involved. It’s about doing good for others, helping them and yourself do well. It’s a rewarding result, not just financially, but emotionally too.

Friends are great and we all need friends. But they probably don’t help pay your mortgage. If they don’t contribute to your bottom line, they are only a friend.

Help Others Help You

If you want to learn more about how to leverage your relationships and grow your business, call me at (856)905-7040 or fill out my contact form, and attend one of my online seminars. Let’s start the conversation about how we can help ourselves and others.

Building a business is like building a home. You could try to do it yourself, but you can only do so much. The same is true of building a business. The more help you get, the easier it gets, the faster it comes together, the stronger it becomes.

Imagine you have a group of professionals working hard to bring you potential clients. Would you feel more confident you could get through today and have a brighter future? More importantly, would it increase your chances of success?  

Your Board of Directors

Coaching for CEOs teaches you how to put together a Board of Directors (BOD) for your business. If your business is a corporation, you already have a BOD, but this is different. You should have a BOD no matter what kind of legal entity owns your business, whether you’re a sole proprietor, a partner, or own an LLC.

There are many acronyms in my program. Your BOD is comprised of those willing and able to help you build your business. You can think of it as a board of advisors. Your BOD members should be those who can refer clients to your business. But it’s also a two-way street. You need to help your BOD members develop new business too. 

How BODs Work

Over time, your BOD is a link in a chain of BODs for other businesses. You own one business, but you should become a board member for other businesses. Your board members should too. You’re all linked because you’re able to provide leads to others while they give them to you.

Let’s say you’re a home repair contractor. 

  • You may get to know other contractors and your customers own homes.
  • You’d be a good board member for an insurance agent.
  • That agent should know of policyholders making claims for home damage due to fires or water. 
  • The agent would be a good board member for you.
  • The agent could refer his clients to you so you could do repairs.
  • The two of you could be good directors for an attorney.
  • Your clients might need a lawyer if they’re having problems with their insurance company because it’s rejecting their claim to pay for the home damage. 

How My BOD Works

When I’m not training business owners on how to find new clients effortlessly, I work as a mortgage broker. I constantly think about my BOD and how to bring them new clients. I remember my BOD by the acronym BSMDC:

  • Buyers for my real estate agents
  • Sellers for my real estate agents
  • Mortgages for me 
  • Divorces for my divorce attorneys
  • Caregivers for financial planners and estate planning attorneys

Each person in my BOD can directly refer clients to me. I am always on the lookout to refer clients back to them.

Take the Next Step. Contact Coaches for CEOs

How can you build a sales machine for your business? Build your BOD. These people can champion your business while you return the favor. Contact me to learn more about how working with others can make your business grow. Call me at (856)905-7040, or fill out my contact form so we can talk about your business and how you can join a Zoom seminar to learn more.

In our personal and professional lives, we all purchase goods and services from others. We give them something of value (usually money) and we get something of value in return. We may get a used car, paint, or a repaired lawnmower. These are ongoing relationships that can mean so much more with a little extra effort.

Some of our relationships can include our:

  • Insurance Agent
  • Accountant
  • Banker
  • Lawyer
  • Dentist
  • Hairdresser
  • Plumber
  • Landscaper
  • Mechanic  

You probably maintain these relationships because you’re happy with the service or product. You might also like the person and refer business to them. If you’re thinking of them and taking the time to talk to others about their business, you’re engaged in some of the most valuable marketing and sales they could possibly get – word of mouth or social proof. 

Social Proof is a Powerful Tool if You Know How to Use It

Social proof is a marketing and psychological term. When we need a product or service, we want to do it right. The top priority for many of us is finding someone trustworthy (especially if we’re buying something important or expensive). If we don’t know who that is, we could take a lot of time and energy, and investigate who’s available, credible, and provides a good value. We could also use trial and error. We might pick someone at random. It might be a good result or it may be a disaster.

Or we can avoid that risk, time, and energy by asking someone else for a suggestion. We will assume that if someone else had a good experience, we probably will too. Social proof is so powerful it’s spawned a whole online industry. It’s why there’s Yelp, Angie’s List, and Avvo. It’s why Amazon product listings include reviews and why there are testimonials about how a candidate is such a great person on political ads.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Your social proof helps build their businesses. Are they helping build your business too? Are they working hard to refer others to you? Probably not:

  • They may not know what you do. You may not have invested the time to fully introduce yourself and explain what you do, the problems you solve, and the types of clients and customers you seek.
  • Did you ask them for help? They may be happy help you, but unless you ask, they may not think about it.

It shouldn’t be a hard request to make, especially if the other person owns or runs a business. They should be willing to exchange the value you’re providing them (payment for their goods and services plus positive word of mouth) with value to you. Ideally, your contacts should have a sense of fair play. It’s only fair they help you if you’re helping them.

Another big reason for them to refer you to others is another psychological issue, reciprocity. Generally, we hate feeling indebted to others. We will go out of our way to do something for someone who did, or just offers to do, something for us. If you tell your accountant or mechanic that you’re actively telling people about them, they’ll feel indebted to you, even if no one you talked to came to them. To relieve themselves of that debt, they’re likely to “pay you back” by talking up your business. 

Help Others Help You

If you want to learn more about how to leverage your relationships and grow your business, call me at (856)905-7040 or fill out my contact form, and attend one of my online seminars. Let’s start the conversation about how we can help ourselves and others.