Friday, October 21, 2005

Guest Blogger Friday - Bryan Menell

Today is "Guest Blogger Friday". Our "GB" is one of my oldest friends, Bryan Menell (I have known him since Foothills Junior High in Arcadia, California...we are so old that they now call it Foothills Middle School. Not sure what is the difference?).

Bryan Menell is the CEO of Fusion Learning Systems, a company he founded in 2001 that provides a full range of learning services tailored to fit clients specific business goals and learning objectives. The company works with industry leaders such as Dell, Harcourt, Pearson, and LeapFrog. He enjoys networking and idea sharing with entrepreneurs. He frequently participates in local panel discussions on technology and startups, guest lectures at the University of Texas, and has been featured in USA Today, the Austin Business Journal, and Family Money magazine. Bryan was a finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year, and recipient of an Austin Under 40 Award.

Networking Helps Jump to 7 Figures
by Bryan Menell

In the mid 1990's I started a small consulting company. After a few years we had a great niche in the market, and I needed to hire some really talented folks. This is before the internet, so recruiting was done the old fashioned way. We had already tapped out our employee’s friends and contacts, and made a few really good hires, so I decided to use a professional recruiter. Rather than go through the Yellow Pages, I asked our employees and friends of the company what recruiters they had worked with, received calls from, and seemed like they were movers and shakers in their industry. This networking led me to a recruiter in Houston, whom I would have never called or found otherwise.

I always strive to get as much out of my business relationships as possible. To me, this means not just hiring this recruiter for his services, but understanding his business, who his customers are, what has made him successful, and who I know that might be looking for a new position. The recruiter was rather savvy as well, and didn’t just ask for the job posting, but wanted to know about my company, what type of people are successful, what customers we service, what are our values, and my philosophy as a business owner.

In the course of finding candidates for us, the recruiter mentioned that he had done lots of recruiting work for a consulting company with similar values, and he had placed several people with the skill sets I was looking for at this company. It was even founded by a former Big Six guy, like me. He asked if I would like to have lunch with executives from this company when I was in Houston interviewing candidates.

To make a long story short, I did meet with that company and ended up selling my consulting firm to them in a seven figure deal. I never even knew this company existed, let alone was looking to do acquisitions. They were three degrees away from me, but it took some networking to get there.

Invest in your business relationships and you will reap rewards. Don’t just deposit your revenues and write checks from your bank, get to know your banker. Do the same with your attorney, tax advisor, key employees, and your telecom provider.

Ten years later, I still use that recruiter in Houston whenever I have a recruiting need.

Thank you to Bryan Menell for a great post.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer


Anonymous said...

I was wondering when you'd have Bryan as a guest! Great blog!

Sergio Martinez said...

What an insightful post from Bryan! We are in fact, separated by only a few degrees from the key resolution to our quest.