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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use a high quality IT system to formalise your network: Your business network requires a high quality IT system and strategy to formalise it.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Focus on serving deserving customers and suppliers.