Slow cooking is catching on! We’re realizing that it takes time to make something really good. The same often holds for innovation. It takes time to fully recognize the need and flesh out the details of a workable solution.
Twenty years ago my husband and I owned a high tech marketing agency and the need for productive networking was palpable, but the technology wasn’t there yet. We helped entrepreneurs connect with the support team they needed — investors, partners, clients and even some employees and vendors. Matching people was difficult. The frustration inspired us to think of solutions and we often discussed how matchmaking was a time honored tradition that was needed in business.
So the history of MatchUp, our matching system, really started about 25 years ago. But the technology wasn’t there. We witnessed several generations of solutions being tried with gadgets, with online websites and leads clubs. None of them were very efficient.
Seven years ago we recognized that the smartphone plus our own software platform would make an effective matching system possible. The additional ingredient was the event organizer who could tailor the matching criteria to their attendees’ needs and offers. We began the process of designing a system that would optimize this human-technology team. We soon added sponsors to the mix because finding good suppliers is as important to every company.
My husband died in 2012, just as we were applying for our utility patent. We were ahead of the curve, but the R&D process slowed as my son and I took over the business and R&D process.
We’re now seeing the emergence of networking apps that begin to meet the need I saw throughout my marketing and design career — but none of the services available handle the depth or breadth of the need we found in American businesses.
My family has pursued a solution to this problem for decades, and we have a solution at our fingertips — MatchUp. But we need the right partner to make this valuable contribution to business networking a reality.
If you know a company looking for a networking solution — let me know — or tell them that we’re looking for a quality events company who will be able to deliver a significant boost to business networking at events.
Do you know all the key players (companies) in your industry niche, in your city or region? If not, you are NOT ready to look for a new job!
Part of “You, Inc.” is knowing your assets (talents, skills, connections and experience). But another part is knowing which buyers are best for you.
With the Web at your fingertips, there’s no excuse for not knowing each of your potential employers better than you know the attributes of your favorite movie or sports star. Here are some features of each company you should know… and can find off of the Web (their company website, directories, associations, etc.)
- Name and kind of company (Sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S, C or other corporation), and size (number of employees, divisions, or locations). Where their headquarters is located — and how close you will be to it. Remember — location, location, location!
- Number of employees, and what the name of your relevant department(s) would be.
- Key customers (Find in directories or association membership listings)
- Where the hub of your industry is. Entertainment is not centered in Sante Fe, New Mexico — but the art world is!
- Key products and services … and where the money comes from! Follow the money! The departments that have the greatest impact on revenue get the most attention, resources and often, highest salaries. Money talks in business.
- Job requirements. Search for job descriptions on job websites to get a prioritized list of qualification they will look for. Know how each term is defined, and relate it to your own training and experience. Tell your story of qualification, successful experiences and networks that can help get the job done.
- Who do you know who works for the company? Call, email or text them for insights about the company, industry trends, and the job or department. Recognize that one personal opinion isn’t always complete or accurate.
- Check social media for relevant conversations about the industry and the company. But DON’T make derogatory or inappropriate comments. (And check your own social media postings and clean them up as much as possible.)
- Visit a trade show booth or other public exhibit and check out the literature. Annual reports tell a lot about the inner workings of a company. Read it for at least two years, if possible. Annual reports for public companies listed in the stock market are often posted on their website or linked to from Finance.Yahoo.com
- Drive by all the facilities within driving distance — check out their look and feel. Are they clean or unkempt? Are their parking lots full or sparsely filled. Are they heavily armoured against crime, or open to the public? You can tell a lot about a person (or company) by how they dress!
Getting to know the best companies in your niche can mean up to millions of dollars over a lifetime of work — so it is important to know where the best companies are, who their key people are, their trends and best products. It’s like getting to know a person with many fascinating personality traits! Have fun, but open your eyes to the attributes that matter most!