Monday, November 29, 2010

Blog Visitors

Thank you, Germany!

For weeks, German visitors to this blog were stuck at 99 - as late as yesterday. This morning, there are 107 of you. Way to go -- and "spread the word". I hope to make my business observations even more relevant in 2011.


Many business women I know do not go to conference because, in order of significance stated by them, (1) they cannot afford it, (2) they are already conversant with the topic or (3) they are not interested in the speakers. “Networking” is never mentioned.

These are my criteria:

1. Does the topic interest me?

2. Do I have time to attend?

3. Are the expected attendees business prospects for me?

4. Do I want to go to where it is held?

5. Can I afford it?

One of my clients (executive search executive in renewable energy industries) tells me that # 3 is his top criterion. His business, already significant and growing, comes from personal interactions with other conferees.

This is where he will be in the near future:

December 1, 2010 – Atlanta
Promoting Sustainable Energy Solutions

February 1-2, 2011 – Boston
Offshore Wind Power

February 10-11, 2011 – Boston
PV Rollout, European American Solar Deployment

February 13-16, 2011 – Washington, DC
"Hydrogen + Fuel Cells = Pathway to a Clean Energy Future"

March 8-10, 2011 – Tampa
Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America 2011

If networking with renewable energy top players would benefit you also (what can you sell to them?), may I suggest you sign up as well?

In any event, do not overlook the “networking” aspect of any conference you plan to attend in 2011.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How Charitable is the Charity you Support?

I almost made a big mistake!

A lovely catalogue arrived in the mail from a charity about which I had heard good things and I was about to make a donation when that same catalogue showed up in my mailbox a second time. “Wow”, I thought, as I walked back from my mailbox to my front door, “they are not very patient, are they? I wonder how much money they spend on their solicitations.”

A quick look at Charity Navigator brought me the results: almost 18%, earning them a 3-star rating. Not terribly bad, but I decided I’d go and look for an organization with a 4-star rating, focused on a cause I care about. I found one and my check has gone to them. Its fundraising costs are 8% and their top guy’s salary is under $140 thousand a year, compared with more than $260 thousand a year for the one with the pretty catalogs.

Suggestion to all in this gift-giving season: check with Charity Navigator before you write that check!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Practice What You Teach!

The other day, in a local art studio, I picked up a flyer for a “Marketing Online Workshop” – very basic stuff (web site, blog, social media), a reasonable fee, and an instructor whose name I had not heard before. A few minutes’ search told me that neither teaching nor online marketing are her areas of expertise. I have no questions about her effectiveness and success as a business owner and suspect that she is very good at what she does, but I wonder why an online marketing course should be taught be someone who launched her own blog in January 2009, has posted only 4 times (most recently on January 16, 2009) and has only 1 “follower” (herself).

Shouldn’t we all, as business professionals, practice what we teach?