In late October, the JCR Weekly asked participants in NCRA’s Managers email list what resources they regularly use to stay up to date on business issues.
First, get local
The court reporting firm owners and managers who responded reported keeping up with local news, especially the local business news. “I read the daily local newspaper because I want to know what is going on in the area,” said Linda Larson, RPR, CRI, of Carlisle, Pa.
In addition, many of them noted that they stay connected to the local bar association and paralegal group. “As a court reporting business owner, I subscribe to Minnesota Lawyer and read it hot off the press. This way I can be all over any congratulatory notes relative to client achievements, professional moves, etc.,” said Jan Ballman, RPR, CMRS, of Paradigm Reporting & Captioning of Minneapolis, Minn., NCRF Chair of the Board of Trustees.
The people who responded also said it was important to stay up on national news, too, and a few mentioned the Wall Street Journal as a source of information. Barbara Rogers, RDR, CRR, CMRS, of Spectrum Reporting in Columbus, Ohio, said she tries to read various online articles from organizations as diverse as the BBC, Al Jazeera, PBS, Big Think, and Wonderful Engineering. “I like to read articles from news sources outside the USA to gain a different perspective on USA news,” Rogers explained. “I also read some articles on LinkedIn, especially if a client shares them.”
Expand with business books and blogs
Others mentioned specific books, magazines, daily emails, and blogs that they find useful as business owners. Some offer general business advice, while others prod readers to consider future technologies and the changes they might bring. The references included the following:
Kerry Anderson, RPR, of Professional Court Reporters in Atlanta, Ga., recommended signing up for Steve Dorfman’s daily email, saying the emails are “great reminders.”
Art Richardson, vice president at Stratos Legal, and Robin Nodland, RDR, CRR, of LNS Court Reporting and Captioning in Portland, Ore., suggested Seth Godin’s blog.
Christa Walton, CMRS, of Orange Legal, in Orlando, Fla., said: “My favorite daily read comes from John Maxwell. He focuses on leadership and character, which reminds me each morning to do the same.”
Learn with local groups
When it comes to learning, several court reporting firm owners and managers were involved in groups such as the local chamber of commerce. “Early on in our business,” Nodland continued, “we did go to Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Administration seminars about starting a business and all that goes into that. Now I go to labor law firm annual workshops. There is always more to learn.”