Pam Loch contributing author to Business Development for Women Lawyers discusses writing for the book.
When I was first approached to write a chapter on my experience of business development, I’ll admit that it seemed a daunting task. I started asking myself questions like “Is my story interesting enough?” and “Do I have enough to say?” Actually, that made me realise one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my career – in order to be successful in business, especially as a female leader, you have to push yourself consistently outside your comfort zone, and have confidence in your ability. So, I accepted the invitation and started to look back on the past 11 years since I set up the businesses.
I wanted my chapter to reflect the journey I’ve been on, highlighting how the challenges you face also evolve as your business grows, and to share some tips. I’ve not only experienced the “growing pains” for myself, but I’ve also worked with clients from a range of sectors, each facing their own set of unique challenges, which I’ve helped guide them through.
Without giving too much away from the chapter, the most important aspect of anyone’s business are the people – that may be customers, partners, employees, or even your wider social network. Over the past 11 years many things have changed, both for me personally, and the wider business world: we’ve been through the credit crunch, I’ve moved the location of my business, technology has evolved in the blink of an eye, and social media dominates our lives. This is combined with generational changes in the way younger people operate, their motivations, ideology and expectations from the working world – the so called “millennial” generation. However, people are still the foundation.
It’s refreshing to think that despite the changes going on in the world around us, this core principle stays the same. Yes, the behaviour of your staff may be different now to what it was previously, and the way you communicate may have evolved, but effective relationships are still key to driving your business forward.
There was a certain serendipity to the timing of writing my chapter. My business is growing, we’re investing in our services and infrastructure and developing for future growth. Against this backdrop, writing the chapter has allowed me to take the time to reflect on what has brought me this far and has given me a renewed sense of focus. It’s been a timely reminder that people are my business – if I get the right people, then the rest should be much easier.