month, Discover Financial Services (the guys who bring us Discover Card, just
in case you didn’t know about them), do what’s called the Small Business Watch.
put a link to the archive of the Small Business Watch site, so you can scroll
through the many short reports and surveys they conduct. I’m not always a big
fan of polls as information and data can be manipulated to support most any side
of a story. All that said, I still like some of the nuggets I get from Discover.
which caught my eye recently was a poll they did: Discover asked Small Biz
owners which they prefer – Online networking or face-to-face contact?
Small Business Owners Strongly Prefer
Face-to-Face Contact to Online Networking
asked which networking opportunities they use most, 67 percent identified non-online
methods such as trade shows, local in-person groups or chambers of commerce.
Six percent cited e-mail as their most-used method and another 6 percent cited
online sites. As for financial benefits, 72 percent of small business owners
say online networking has yet to have any impact on their bottom lines.”
sentence is something I plan to explore with a range of experts and guests in the
coming months, but for now – that’s a pretty dramatic statement. A statement that
I’ll have to disagree with and, more importantly, define – what does it mean when
we, when you, say that online networking has no impact on your bottom line? We frequently
ask, what’s the ROI for any project or concept or plan, but I like to flip it and
ask, “what’s the IOR?” I put it backwards
to mean — if we contemplate the investment first, we can then often figure out
how to get a return. That investment might be of money, or of time, or of ourselves,
but it is a more fitting question I believe for figuring out how to get a return
on anything. What will we give first?