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10 Ways To Create Value Through Your Business Network

The key to realising value in your business is to use your business network. The marketplace has moved on from the time when competition was just among companies. Your business must now succeed  based on the quality of the your network of suppliers and customers.  You have to leverage trusted connections to help you design, produce, market, sell and maintain your products and services.

Below are ten ways you can leverage these relationships to create value:
  1. Optimise your online network: Business oriented social media like LinkedIn has made maintaining and building your online business network easy. You can source information, pursue warm leads and even ask your online supplier and customer contacts for inspiration for your next venture. You should maintain regular contact with these connections to stay up – to –date with where product trends and innovation are heading in your industry.
  2. Optimise your offline network: Despite the advent of online business networks, offline business networks still provide a very useful medium where you can meet your next supplier or customer. You can join exsiting groups such as the Freemasons, Rotarians and clubs including chambers of commerce.
  3. Understand the principle of the ‘network effect’:  Another way of creating value from your business network is understanding the concept of the ‘network effect’. The ‘network effect’ is the idea that the more value adding supplier and customer connections you make, the more valuable your network becomes, until it dominates others.
  4. Harness the buy-in of online contacts for your product or service: Online contacts such as LinkedIn connections can provide feedback on your business ideas and can provide case studies of their success in developing their own products and services.
  5. Realise that your business network is your most valuable asset: Your business network is your most valuable asset because of the latent energy of the participants in it. If you have a high quality business network, your suppliers and customers will invest in your success or help you to work out how to be successful.
  6. Use a high quality IT system to formalise your network: Your business network requires a high quality IT system and strategy to formalise it.
  7. Adopt the cornerstones of a Five Star Business Network:  A Five-Star Business Network adopts five principles: “fire-aim-ready innovation”, “Speed-to-Store Efficiency”, “Transaction-Optimisation-Profitability”, “Advanced-Product-Phasing” and “Results-focussed outsourcing and Modularisation”. Find out more information about you can add these principles to your business network by buying Global Supply Network’s award winning book 5-Star Business Network.
  8. Keep up to date with market information: Decision making technology has developed so much over the least 40 years that it has demands businesses keep up to date information. The same applies to your decision making. You need up to date information in order to make the best decisions.
  9. Apply the 80/20 rule: You will get 80% of the results in building your business network from 20% of the interactions you have with customers and suppliers. This rule still applies.
  10. Focus on serving deserving customers and suppliers.

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Vivek Sood

I write about "The Supply Chain CEOs", "The 5-STAR Business Networks", and, how to "Unchain Your Corporation". In my work, I help create extraordinary corporate results using several 'unique' supply chain methodologies. Contact me for interesting, high impact projects, or, to get access to my IP for creating transformations using these methodologies.

  • Nitesh Shende says:

    Business networking is not Give and Take its Give and Get.

    Where you may benefit from giving at some later point of time. Business Networking is always long term not transnational. You try to create value for others first, at some later point of time they create value for you.

    In India there is an online Platform based on same Give and Get principle Small business owners commit to helping each other by buying from each other.

  • Teddy Burriss says:

    Here are a series of networking tips that have significantly changed my life, business and career:

    “Networking is finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward through life.”

    “Lead with Give not Need.”

    “Make the conversation all about the other person, until you get permission to talk about yourself.”

    “There are two people you need to network with; People you can help and people who can help you. Often you don’t know who is who and sometimes one becomes the other.”

    “Meet someone new every single day of your life.”

    “Meet people who are far different than yourself. If the only people you meet day to day are the same people over and over, the only thing you will learn is the same thing over and over. Look for diversity.”

    “Follow through after meeting someone at a networking meeting. Add them to your personal contact list, connect on LinkedIn, message them and remind them you are available to help them where you can.”

  • Scott Gabdullin, Entrepreneur, Writer, Digital Nomad & Adventurer says:

    Networking has always been and will always be about building relationships. Whether you network online or offline, the success of your networking efforts comes down to how dedicated you are to establishing strong relationships with those you meet.

  • Piotr Zaniewicz, CEO @RightHello says:

    Define your goals in networking – approaching people without 1 specific goal in mind is a waste of time. You’ll be talking to the wrong people about the weather, drinking coffee and hoping that someone comes over and talks about something interesting.

    With a specific goal you’ll approach people that could help you achieve it, staying away from pointless conversations by default.

    If you want to raise funds, a startup conference is what you should look for. If your objective is to get new leads, go to an industry event where your target customers will be. Similar if you need to hire new team members, get noticed on a developer/marketing/sales conference (depending on what kind of specialist you need of course).

    Be honest about your goals and don’t fool yourself that you can kill two birds with one stone.

  • Tomer Garzberg, tomergarzberg.com | 14+ years Growth Hacking says:

    It all comes down to increasing your ‘presence’. That is, making yourself seem larger than life (or at least, just more consumable than the competition going for the same thing you are).

  • Kevin Whitsitt, studied at Avid Book Reader says:

    learn the rules of the platform and the language. For example to network on Facebook it helps to know edgerank.
    Listen and Give value. The builds up something known as Karma like in Reddit.
    Once you have their attention, then get their interest by giving a tease on what you do.

  • Amey Bapat, Business Head Product Development says:

    Go digital. Use the power of your smartphone and let your smartphone bring you business. Ablifree makes your smartphone find new customers and new business opportunities for you. Its a Sure Way To Grow Your Business !!!

  • […] such a scenario, the challenge emerges: How to create a network of businesses with complementary capabilities that can bring in the required expertise in research and […]

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