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About the Episode
Do you have an app in the local space? Well today’s guest talks about his process for building relationships with local businesses and partnering with college universities. Also, you have to listen to how he communicates with not only potential investors but his entire team.
Partnering with Local Businesses and Universities
Local businesses, just like huge businesses, have “the man” who holds the checkbook and has the last say on any substantial investment. Brent Shafer identifies this man, sets a meeting with him and presents his idea. It is, of course, a lot easier if the man in question is a long time friend as in Brent’s case. Brent approaches “the man” already armed with knowledge of how he can add value to their company. He makes sure his ideas are clearly presented and firmly establishes his expertise and competence on how he can be an asset to the company. The pitch for the investment is introduced only after he has credibility with “the man”.
Universities are even more difficult to approach. Brent researches and identifies the man-in-charge and even if he has to wait hours outside this man’s office, he does not mind. Brent advises not to hesitate if an opportunity presents itself. If Brent has to call out to the guy to get his attention, Brent gladly does it. Once he has the man’s attention, Brent advises to be quick to open a conversation. He advises justto be yourself and make the other guy comfortable.
Whether it is a business or university partnership, Brent advises to get their support as early as possible. Get them involved by keeping them updated and having them test the product to get their feedback.
Keeping Communication Lines Open with Partners and His Team
Brent believes in effective and timely communication and for this, he digs deep into his well of experience in the BPO companies. To make sure everyone is on the same page, he chats with them on a daily basis. It is usually just a ten minute meeting, but long enough to allow everyone to touch base and update each other.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to build an app in a local space and hoping to partner with local businesses or universities?
Make sure first that people want it. Then build it; test it.