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Posts Tagged ‘Rolodex’

Diary of a Startup: The Value of Building Your Company's Rolodex

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Last week was a very busy week at KikScore. We had meetings all over the place on many different fronts. We had lunch meetings, phone calls, various team meetings, checkins with partners, drinks with some of our favorite corporate development friends and meetings with friends and colleagues that also double as advisors. On the way back from one of our last meetings, my partner Mike and I were debriefing on all of the meetings we had just completed. Then it dawned on us that nearly every one of these meetings came from a team member of KikScore, a friend of friend, colleagues from previous and current jobs and folks that KikScore team members have done business in the past.

Over time and especially at the inception of a startup (and small businesses too), a company’s contacts and rolodex can immensely help the strategic direction of a company. That is why we all hear from so many people that we should all on a regular basis network and get out and meet people. But I would say even more importantly, there are probably many people that lie dormant in an entrepreneur’s contacts that the entrepreneur met many moons ago. These “hidden rolodex gems” should not be forgotten.

Entrepreneurs and owners of small business should be proactive in maintaining and cultivating these forgotten contacts. I will be the first to admit that I have not been great at cultivating some of these gems. But one of my mentors once said the easiest way to engage these buried contacts, is just pick up the phone and call them or send them an email. What do you really have to lose? Now in your re-introduction call or email to these folks, make it clear to them that you are not looking for a job or something and instead are looking to chat and get some guidance. You will be amazed at the responsiveness that you may get.

Here are just some of the ways our contacts have helped KikScore and could help your startup (and small business):

1. Providing great feedback on our business model;

2. Ideas for new channels to pursue;

3. Ideas on potential new enhancements to our product;

4. Introduction to partners; and

5. Referrals to other advisors and thought leaders.

As you grow you company’s contact list, return the favor to people that contact you looking for guidance and counseling. Pay It Forward so you do not look like your company is only looking out for itself. And you never know when someone asks you for guidance, it may end up helping your company like it has with us at KikScore.

Please tell us how you develop your company’s rolodex.

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