Common Sense for Founders – Part One

Watch Your Step (540x361)Call me a nudge but some things I see Founders do (or not do) defy common sense.  So here I go – the first 6 pieces of my mind:

  1. When you get a meeting, move a mountain to meet in person.  Connecting in person for a few minutes over coffee beats a phone call or email every time, especially if you aim to build a long term relationship, get market intelligence or honest feedback.  Many founders are so focused on efficiency that they miss the value of all the unexpected and intangible learnings and leads that happen in person.
  1. Just in case you didn’t know, business starts at 8am (or before). No one is watching what time you come in the office, but in a left-brained city like Charlotte business starts early. So phone and text should be at the ready.
  1. Does anyone still have a smartphone without email?  Acknowledging that email is dead and text rules for anyone under 35, if your prospective customers are the old guard then you better have a way to get their emails.  Promptly.
  1. Respond within 24 hours.  But only if you want their business. Or advice. Or money.
  1. Look people in the eye.  The age of ipads and iphones has led to a constant stare into the screen. If you are working to build a relationship with potential customers, advisors or investors then you need to build trust and respect, which starts with eye contact.
  1. Notes show interest, but you are not in class. Jotting down a few notes in a personal meeting shows interest and commitment to follow up. Writing down every word de-personalizes the meeting and puts you in a subordinate position.

There’s more. Stay tuned for Part Two!

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