Earlier this week I had the privilege to attend a Mom CEO Academy event. Now, I'm not a mom but when I saw the event come into the site, I knew I wanted to attend as Cathy Kuzel was speaking. I've followed Cathy on Twitter for a while now, the Connected Woman is quite the catchy handle after all, and her content online is engaging. I was very excited to meet her in person.
Mom CEO Academy is a group of business owners and entrepreneurs. There are a number of chapters throughout the Lower Mainland and they host regular business focused workshops. This event was focused on how to enhance the infamous coffee date for your business. I am typically the asker of coffee and this group seemed to be typically on the receiving end of the invitations. But the content Cathy shared was valuable to both parties.
Here are three key takeaways:
–>As the asker it is your responsibility to clarify what you want to know. Come prepared with real questions. Don't be afraid to share these questions with your invitee. It will give him or her a sense of the direction your meeting with be going.
–>As the askee, you are allowed to ask for an agenda. You are most likely a busy person and your time is money, especially as an entrepreneur or business owner. Clarify what the meeting is really about, don't be afraid to push for more than just “to pick your brain”.
–>Be very conscious of time. As the asker you should be there at least 5-10 minutes early. I typically am there anywhere from 15-30 minutes early so I can ensure I have a great table where I can see when my invitee comes in and have had time to personally settle into the space.
–>As the askee it is important to clearly indicate how much time you have. On average 30 minutes is substantial. As the asker you need to be respectful and conscious of your time. Wear a watch or set a reminder on your phone.
- Include in Your Business Plan
Coffees are important to building your network and reputation. Everyone is busy. You need to schedule in a few coffees per month to build and grow the community around you. It is also important to remember that coffees are not sales opportunities. The purpose of these meetings is to build that relationship first. Your business will benefit more from building the trust and engagement far beyond a hard sell.
Mom CEO Academy is a great group of ambitious women pursuing their dreams and businesses. They have three different chapters across the Lower Mainland and just from this sneak peak I know they offer quality workshops that really cater to what the real questions are for entrepreneurial parents. This was a great evening filled with inspiring women really looking for the answers to real questions.