Internal Versus External: Part of the Lessons I Learned from Doing Business in China

I would like to promote discussion over whether the largest percentage of the work day should be spent in engaging in internally-directed business activities

You roll into work off the subway or you take a car. If you are in a city like New York, you notice thousands of people swarming along the sidewalks on their way to their jobs, or in this current economy, acting like they are going to jobs that don’t exist.


If you are a reader of symbols, you notice what people where, how they carry their coffee or their bags of pastries, or their bags. You might notice the brands they wear, or their sunglasses. Surely you have noticed that as the days are getting colder and shorter, they are wearing bulkier clothing, and things like scarves and hats. Sunglasses are still on. New Yorkers like to wear sunglasses.

I think about this stuff on my way to work. People culturally put effort into communicating with others their internal framework. What I mean is, people have an outside, and they show the inside on the outside. Shouldn’t business be like this? Yes, and I think it’s called marketing.

To my mind, you are not really running a business if most of what you are doing each day is focused on the internal mechanism of the company. And if so much of the energy and production is focused on the internal mechanisms, you are missing opportunities to interact and engage with your clientele, and your actual real costumers who have used your service before.

Working in Asia, and working mostly on the web, taught me to face outward. Here are the benefits and strategies that enable a company to face outward, by interacting with your customer base on the internet:

1. A greater number of non-company aligned consumers and clients out there are willing to help you.

2. Lower inefficiency and cumbersome explanations about why you do what you do. People already see it because you are doing it everyday.


3. Fewer power points, and fewer meetings internally that explain to employees why you do what you do. Not only will people be on-board, but a dramatic percentage of the discussions internally will be about snap moments, or Eureka moments about other ways that the company will face outward.

I think all of these processes might be key opportunities for more revenue, because customers will gravitate to the people who look outward.

A large percentage of my time is spent looking outward, as I build up and Mobile Omnipresent Business Solutions, or MOBS Forum.

If you want to share with me your ideas, you can reach me through LinkedIn at at the Education Industry Investment Forum




About the author

Douglas Crets is a Developer Evangelist and Editorial Lead at the Microsoft BizSpark program. He works to tell the story of thousands of startups hosted in the Azure cloud platform built by Microsoft.