The Power of Networking
A major theme throughout the 2017 National AAPI Business Summit was the power of networking. The
Celebrate AAPI Business Success forum brought to the forefront the importance of networking 24 hours a
day, seven days a week. While on a flight and talking with someone next to her on the plane, one of the
panelists found an early investor for her company. She learned her lesson and continues to sit in middle
seats where she always doubles her networking opportunity.
Did you know that out of 100 introductions, only 50 may not be interested, and only 10 may be relevant?
It only takes one solid connection to lead to a new strategic partnership, distribution route, or investor
Another key takeaway shared by speakers during the panel sessions, was that it’s important for business owners to know the market and always be prepared to leverage the business climate. A downturn in one area may provide a new opportunity to hire recently laid-off staff from a competitor, acquire real estate, or even develop new products. Being aware, creative and flexible are keys to success.
Building Lasting Business Relationships
In addition to their successes, AAPI business owners, leaders and partners provided attendees with first-hand insight on overcoming challenges to partnerships and being prepared for your next opportunity., Cindy Marsiglio, Vice President, U.S. Manufacturing, Walmart Stores, Inc., said, “Trust is driven by transparency and communications, and that allows us to head off challenges at the pass. Communicate with your partners and let them know of any upcoming challenges, that way you can work together on a win-win solution.”
“Employees, supply chains, and owners must work together to create solutions to challenges. Trust your team.” Says Wendy Lewis, VP Global Chief Diversity Officer, McDonalds Corporation.
Speakers urged attendees to remember that persistence and passion pay off in the long-run. That includes being patient when courting a high profile client because it may take three to five years to build a trusting relationship and for an opportunity to arise. But when it does, always be prepared to jump and submit your Request for Proposal (RFP).
Thinking Outside of the Box
Successfully competing in today’s marketplace can be tough for business owners, but speakers for the National ACE NextGen Circle: Challenges & Successes, advised entrepreneurs to take on an entrepreneurial mindset and constantly look for ways to do something better.
When asked about keys to success, Andrew Chau, Co-Founder, Boa Guys said “You are your biggest asset. Continually improve your knowledge and abilities.”
“It is okay…it is good to think outside the box. How we approach our lives and interface with one another should be unique to each person and situation. Live your passion.” Says Lavanya Jawaharlal, President and Co-Founder, STEM Center, USA.
The 1.9 M AAPI-owned businesses are a critical part of the economic engine of this country that generate $700B in annual revenue and employ 3.6 M people nationwide.
AAPI companies, like America, are diverse – at the Summit we heard from a variety of businesses from memory foam, boba, and technology companies; and we heard from a range of owners including immigrants to second generation, millennials and baby boomers. AAPI companies are working with a variety of corporations including Google, Walmart, CBS, and McDonalds and are influencing the innovation and future of wealth creation in our nation’s economy.
The Summit wrapped up with a Power Networking event that included national corporations, federal agencies, and participants. It is important for events like this to share information, best practices, and to keep the conversation going, so that the AAPI community can ensure they are part of the future of wealth and job creation as well as the economic growth for the country.