Earlier in June, an email appeared in my inbox to attend a full-day webinar on doing business in Wisconsin. The full-day commitment appeared difficult. I really did not know how difficult it would be. Yet, after reviewing the agenda, there was much to be learned. I registered with the intention to attend the morning sessions, and one session in the afternoon. Attendance would be a “boost” for my business. The price was wonderful. It was free. The Wisconsin Purchasing Initiative (WPI) put this together.
Of course, you know that I operate my own business, Wojtecki Enterprises, LLC., after retiring from corporate life. My product is to design learning and improvement opportunities for clients. I am currently in the process of designing Real Colors for a client, where we will incorporate minimizing, or eliminating communication gaps, along with the essence of the content from Real Colors.
I also volunteer for the Scott County Court, and for the Senior Health Insurance Information Program. Needless to say, my days are full. What I had not noticed was that I had volunteered for a Zoom Mediation at noon, on the same day as the webinar. What are you doing, John? I would have to juggle attendance at the webinar, then while the group broke for lunch, sign on, and facilitate the mediation, then get back to the webinar in the afternoon after their lunch.
The morning sessions had presenters from potential business clients. Insights from the presenters were most interesting. One of the webinar messages has been a wonderful reminder – if you want to do business with them, it is not a sprint, it is a marathon. A presenter from Boeing Airlines stressed that message. Anyone in business has to be disciplined about the marathon, and reminded about this constantly. This is so true when I think about our downtown small businesses. Not a sprint – but a marathon.
Getting away at noon for the mediation was timed wonderfully. The webinar broke for lunch at the perfect time for me to log on to the zoom call, and facilitate the mediation. Almost at the precise time we ended the mediation, there’s the dog looking for her snack and a trip outside. She was great! One of the luxuries (?) of working from home. Then, after her snack and trip outside, I headed back to the webinar.
One panelist from the afternoon session had three interesting insights on recent changes in business. The first change, partially due to the COVID Pandemic, is organizations prefer to buy locally. Local vendors can, and will, respond to customers who are close. This is wonderful for our local businesses. The second insight was that the supply chain, digital security, relationships, customers, and markets are always changing. The presenter had a theme of: make new friends, and nurture old ones. Follow up is imperative because customers are just as busy as you are, and always look for new opportunities. Of course follow-up action, yes action, is required. Time is required. Sure, I have plenty of time–not necessarily based on how I scheduled this day!