At the 2.5 week mark, and after the conference I attended in Colorado Springs, I got a chanced to attend a focus group held by local business owners, for local business owners trying to form alliances and groups. The ultimate goal was to form more than networking circles, but more so partnering communities, figuring out ways to leverage each others customers and refer each others services.
Very cool concept, and the idea had me interested.
I found out about this conference after meeting with a commercial cleaning services company. My meeting with them was to understand the type of software they used to run their business. My thought initially was that it was going to be extremely simple, or extremely complex. Funny enough, I found that their systems were a mixture of simple and complex. Of course this interests me!
While they use very primitive tools for tracking and managing data such as customer lists, finances, supplies, employees, etc. they are collecting a lot of information, with very high detail. I was extremely impressed to see what they were doing, which basic spreadsheet functionality, and more impressed that they actually managed to stay on top of this system. While I didn’t leave with an idea in mind for these guys, I did write their company down for future follow up.
The cleaning industry is a big one, and if I can figure out a way to tap into that market with a tool that had mass market appeal, it would wonderful for all.
Anyhow, at the conference, I found that companies are trying really hard to connect, leverage other business relationships they have and find creative ways to go about acquiring not just new business, but loyal customers.
This kind of made me feel like social networking was the solution, but not really solution networking as it is today. And then, of course, I realized that creating a social network is a foolish idea, so back to the drawing board.
So many great notes captured from the great state of Colorado. This was the first time I ever spent this type of time in the blue collar world and I have an incredible amount of respect for these hands on, hard working people.
Keep your eye out for my time spent in Northern California, which is coming up next. I had a great time meeting with folks “not” in the tech world, which is the big focus around those parts.