A better perspective for success
The internet provides a global market out-reach for businesses small, medium and big. The moment a small business has a web presence it becomes a Micro-multinational Enterprise (MME) with the potential to compete with Multi-national Corporations (MMCs).
A small home business specializing in finely crafted Swiss watches can target a clientele of the super-rich worldwide to provide the finest quality and craftsmanship with a personalized touch that creates a loyal customer base in the playgrounds of the rich.
However, one advantage an individual working in a big organization has, is a team of specialist in finance, operations and marketing to provide resources. This allows for timely implementation of ideas to capture markets. The challenge for small businesses is in creating an external expert team and resources to succeed against the big competitors.
BUILD A RESOURCE NETWORK
Networking should not only focus on developing markets but additionally it should help to build a team of experts amongst related businesses to provide the resources to deliver the quality demanded by the consumers. The three resource networks that need to be created are:
1. Out-Source Networks
Out-sourcing should be considered for all functions that can be better provided by out-side parties. Does a bakery need to own a commercial kitchen or can it lease space from other commercial kitchens. For example, a perceived established competitor may actually be willing to do the baking for a small bakery with a non-competing range of offerings under a different brand name. This saves on operating cost and frees up resources for marketing. Conversely, a new start-up with the latest technology equipment could offer to produce for an established player in the market at a lower cost. This creates a ready market for the new business in the neighbourhood.
2. Strategic Business Alliances
A food catering company making money from catering for weddings could provide value-added one-stop services for happy couples through a strategic alliance with wedding planners, photographers, venue providers, tailors, specialty stores, florist, travel agencies and much more. Each business in the strategic alliance could promote the business of the alliance group thereby multiplying the market outreach.
3. Share Knowledge with Communities
All businesses should have a community out-reach program. Recently a community activist spoke at a Social Club of local business leaders and professionals. Her pressing need was to find someone or an organization that could help provide transport for children to school from a nearby neighbourhood during the winter months. As it turned out, the owner of a local car dealership offered the services of their curtesy vans already doing drop-offs and pick-ups of customers who send their vehicles in for service. This sort of local community initiative will certainly add “mileage” to the marketing out-reach of the car dealership.
At the end of the day networking should be about building a team you can turn to for advice and support. Spending time at regular business meetings with a focus on building relationships for out-sourcing, strategic alliances and community service makes good business sense. The added bonus is in the human relationships you establish that enriches your personal life.
International Business Consultant
Reboot your business plan for sustained high growth