LinkedIn? – Join a Group

I talk to many business owners who join LinkedIn, because they’ve been invited, but don’t know what to do next.

LinkedIn can be a great source for networking, marketing awareness and sharing ideas. One of the best ways of doing this is to join groups.

What types of groups are there?

If you do a LinkedIn “group search” you will find all types of forums out there. Be aware that the “groups search” functionality is not that great. Another way of finding a group is to look at a business associate or competitor’s profile and check out what groups they belong to.

Now I’ve joined a group, what do I do?

Being a member of on-line group is exactly the same as being a member of any group on the outside world. If you sit in the corner of the room you will be ignored. Get your name about by participating and using them.

What types a group should I join?

  • Industry specific – these are great groups to join to keep up to date with the marketplace, share ideas and gather information. You might even find out what your competitors are up to!
  • Geographical business groups – Great for finding out what the local buzz is in your area. Become the resident guru. Ask and respond to questions, which relate to your profession, for example if you are in the exhibition stand business you might wish to find out what events people are attending in the near future.
  • Business Networking Groups often have their own forums and there are special interest sites out there too.

What’s the etiquette?

Like any other club, anything rude and offensive will give you a bad reputation and get you kicked out. Some groups will post their own rules and regulations. Blatant advertising and self-promotion in the “discussions” section is a huge bug-bear of mine. Put this type of information in the “news”

What should I do now?

  • Join a couple of groups if you haven’t already – some are more active than others and you won’t know how good a group is until you become a member. You can always leave if it’s not for you.
  • Ask a couple of questions and see what happens
  • Respond to some questions already posted
  • Change your settings if you wish to – you can choose the frequency you receive emails from the group etc.

One last note: If you’re a SME in the South West then remember to join the “Bright Business Thoughts” group!

Beware of big contracts


It may seem strange advice to beware of winning big contracts. After all most small businesses dream of catching that biggee which will set them up for the future. However, many a great small business has failed because they won a big contract with a large corporation.

The biggest problem is cash flow. Large companies will often demand slow payment terms, which means it can be several months between paying employees and suppliers your end and receiving payment for your services. It is important to remember that even if you have agreed 30 day payment terms the cash will usually come in quite a but later than that. This is particularly problematic in the current economic climate where banks are reluctant to lend money to tide you over the interim period. Secondly, if a large proportion of your business is geared to fulfilling one large contract you leave yourself exposed should the large company you are dealing with has financial problems themselves.

Also, if you have to neglect your traditional client base whilst you complete the large contract you may find you have no business left one the contract is finished. Now we are not suggesting you never bid for large contracts. What we are saying is go into the process with your eyes open. Put away your rose tinted spectacles and examine fully what winning the contract will truly mean for your business. Are you prepared to accept the risks as well as the rewards?

Finally, there are professionals out there – such as your accountant – who can help you, so use them.

Posted via email from Jop

Business Book Club – Launch!

  • How many business books do you have sitting on your shelves unread?
  • Do you always intend to do more business reading, but never get around to it?

 If so then join our Business Book Club.

Every couple of months we will be reading books by either new UK authors or pioneers in business strategy, such as Stephen Covey who have paved the way in which business operate.

The choosen book for September/October is:

Sales Therapy: Effective Selling for the Small Business Owner, by Grant Leboff.



Comment on the book on line – by posting comments here, or by joining the Bright Dimension LinkedIn group.

Join us in a Bristol Pub for a meet up – email for more info.