8 Ways to use #businesslunchclub to grow your business

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Everything you enjoy about business lunches is now available on Twitter with Business Lunch Club. If you find yourself unable to have a real business lunch, simply tweet while you eat and add the hashtags #businesslunchclub, #bizlunchclub, or #blc.

Here are some ideas to get the benefits of a business lunch from Business Lunch Club.

1. Find others who are stuck at their desks over lunch. You’ll make your at-your-desk time far more productive while you eat.

For example: Stuck at my desk. Anyone else in the same boat? #businesslunchclub

2. Start a discussion about a topic that you might normally talk about over lunch. You’ll engage others in topics that interest you and shape the discussion on Twitter.

For example: How has the economy been impacting your lead generation? #businesslunchclub

3. Participate in a discussion that someone else has started. You’ll add value to other people as you talk with them. Several people can join in at once, just like a real discussion.

For example: Re: lead-gen I’ve had to really ramp up the value of my offering. How about you? #businesslunchclub

4. Ask for help. Leverage your relationships to ask professionals for advice on issues you face in business.

For example: Can anyone point me to a good online bookkeeping system? #businesslunchclub

5. Get to know your followers. You have lots of followers but how well do you know them? Get to know them a bit better and perhaps you’ll discover some potential opportunities.

For example: Taking a break from work for #businesslunchclub. @IAC_Heather tell me a bit about your business

6. Talk about a joint venture or collaboration idea. Twitter is the perfect place to start up a discussion, test interest, and find experts to collaborate.

For example: @AaronHoos I’d like to work together on an ebook about sales. #businesslunchclub

7. Introduce a couple of colleagues who you think are a good match for each other. Network and help others to network. This is like #FollowFriday but far more focused.

For example: @IAC_Heather, you should talk to @AaronHoos about that book you’d like to write #businesslunchclub

8. Visit BusinessLunchClub.com and meet other people who are #businesslunchclub participants. Follow them to gain access to a whole new network of people interested in win-win business growth.

For example: Hi @AaronHoos I saw you on BusinessLunchClub.com and wanted to follow you #businesslunchclub

Let’s do lunch! #businesslunchclub

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In the business world, lunch time is often a time when business relationships are solidified, sales are made, insight is shared, and new partnerships are born. Traditionally, this involved two or more business people meeting at a restaurant. However, today’s business world doesn’t always allow for that: Entrepreneurs halfway around the world from their colleagues can’t easily meet for lunch; small business owners are stuck at their desk while they work; freelancers may not have the hour or more it can take to drive to the restaurant and wait for the meal to arrive.

That’s where Business Lunch Club comes in.

I’ve collaborated with a colleague of mine, Heather Villa, a business coach and the owner of IAC Professionals and IAC-EZ, to create Business Lunch Club. It’s everything you get in the traditional business lunch… on Twitter! She calls it “Lunch 2.0” which I think is the perfect term!

Business Lunch Club enables business professionals who can’t get away from their desk, or who have time or distance constraints, to meet for lunch on Twitter.

Participating in Business Lunch Club is easy. Simply start a conversation with one or more of your followers, or participate in a discussion already underway. And, be sure to add the hashtags #businesslunchclub, #bizlunchclub, or #blc to your tweets to indicate that they are part of the conversation.

Want to know who else is participating? Want to review what you’ve discussed? Want to find and follow other BusinessLunchClub participants? Visit BusinessLunchClub.com to see all of the Business Lunch Club conversations going on.

So join in! Follow @IAC_Heather, @AaronHoos, and @bizlunchclub on Twitter.

Let’s do lunch. And this time, it’s on Twitter!

Cheap yet effective innovation: Switch mindsets

The second stage of the Business Diamond Framework™’s 3i Methodology™ is to create innovative strategies to help organizations lower costs, raise revenues, and differentiate. (If you’re totally new to the Business Diamond Framework™, click here for a quick synopsis).

bdf-w-words-fullThere are a number of tools practitioners can use to innovate but one of the easiest ways to generate innovation in this stage is to move departments and roles and processes from one Function Diamond to another. (For example, from the Support Diamond to the To-Market Diamond or from the Value-Add Diamond to Leadership Diamond).

A popular example of this is the IT department. In many businesses, the IT department would be defined as a Support Diamond part of the organization. Because of that, the IT department is reactive and often merely tasked to patch together a computer system to let the company achieve a baseline of internal and external communication. Then, they are tasked to maintain that baseline. That’s a classic Support Diamond problem — the expectation that departments, processes, and roles in this Function Diamond will perform at a specific minimum.

But a simple, conceptual shift from the Support Diamond means that IT is no longer reacting as a supporting department.

Shifting IT into the Value-Add Diamond puts the department to work as an essential part of the business that intentionally contributes to the business’ Value Chain. Or, shifting IT into the Leadership Diamond puts the department to work as a business enabler — a department that drives positive change and encourages forward momentum by becoming a decision maker in the business. We see this a little with the role of the CIO, but it’s just the beginning. When I did some writing for SAP, this was a big deal that we were addressing. And I recently found this book, which I thought was also relevent: 2017: The End of IT as We Know It.

But IT is just one example, of course. There are other departments, processes, and roles that can be shifted from one Function Diamond to another to create innovative ways of doing business.

Want to stir up your business for some fresh and innovative thinking? Identify a role and explore ways to shift them into another Function Diamond.