Why You Should Join Business Network Groups
Business networks, business network groups, or corporate groups are groups of industry-related individuals of people and actors that are relevant to you.
Today, there are many types of corporate networks that you can join. Companies that are really large often have many different positions and have experts in many different areas and can thus seek help within the company. If you are a small business owner, it can be more difficult in cases where you encounter a problem or challenge.
In these cases, a network for entrepreneurs is a very good solution. Sometimes you have to give advice to others and sometimes you can get advice. Everyone gets into trouble sometimes and needs a little help and advice.
When it comes to business network groups, it may be that you want advice and support in the area you work in or it may be a completely unknown area. Through a network, you can, for example, consult a lawyer free of charge and not have to worry about asking more questions. As a small sole proprietor, such costs can otherwise affect the company’s finances quite a lot. In other words, business networks as a great way to get and give help regarding business-related queries and topics. You may just want to brainstorm together with other individuals or simply to get inspiration.
What you need to know about business network groups
If you are an individual entrepreneur, you can sometimes feel a little lonely. Sometimes the industry changes and you have to try to keep up with developments. In the event of major changes, it is very useful to talk to someone about how they will adapt. It can also be about consulting about different systems if you are considering switching to something else.
For many, being part of a business network can mean great security. You can always get in touch with someone who is knowledgeable in a certain area. Instead of sitting all alone and being insecure, you can either get help all the way or just get confirmation that you are on the right path. This means that you can continue to be professional towards the customers and can answer the questions they have. For both you and the customers, it is a great security.
If you have never tested a business network, it can be a very wonderful experience. Even if you prefer to work alone, you may sometimes need others. There is an enormous amount of knowledge to be gained within a network and in this way, you can develop and learn new things,
For a small business owner, being part of a network can be very helpful. You become part of a community and can always find support and help in different areas. Sometimes you get to share your own knowledge and sometimes you get to share other people’s knowledge. A network means that you can help your customers in all situations in the correct way. It gives a professional and safe impression all the way.
How to join a business network
A business network that benefits the company does not arise by itself. It is important to plan your business network and build it up with personal contacts. For the company, it is also important to be part of already established networks such as. a trade association.
Actively participating in business networks is a competitive advantage.
To participate in a network means to actively give and share knowledge. This active action means that experiences and knowledge between the members of the network are exchanged. A certain formalization of a network is required for it to work well, e.g. dates for meetings, topics to be discussed.
Everyone has a personal network. People you can ask for advice, people you help in different ways. Some of these can certainly help you when you run a business. In addition to this personal network, there are other networks that you and your company can participate in.
Types of business networks
There are several different types of business networks depending on how they are formed and what their purpose is. Common types of business networks are:
- Industry organizations. Companies in the same industry that collaborate on issues that are important for the industry’s development.
- Interest groups. Organizations developed around a community of interest. Examples of this are employers, employees, and small business organizations.
- Advisor. Usually, this includes people who are promoted to the company’s board or act as mentors to the company or to a personal individual in the company. Consultants that the company uses more than just temporarily are part of the network, e.g. an accountant.
Knowledge is power and knowledge is gained through participation in different types of business networks.
If you do not have a suitable network where you or the company can enter, take the initiative and create one. In all probability, there are more people who think like you.
The following effects can be achieved by forming networks with other companies:
- Knowledge and experience exchange.
- Collaboration with other companies in e.g. a region increases the viability of companies.
- Resources can be shared, training can be carried out together, etc.
- A network is more easily heard for its perception than the individual company.
- Through networks develop imaginary/virtual companies.
The most common is that networks are locally or regionally anchored. A network can e.g. consist of companies that rent premises in a so-called corporate hotel. Even if the companies work in completely different areas, there is always a lot of knowledge to be gained from each other.
Companies focused on research and development in certain areas can exchange experiences that benefit everyone. For this exchange of experience to work in the best and most flexible way, it is not uncommon for companies with similar operations to establish themselves close to each other.
By sharing resources, companies have had a very good ability to survive and grow. If a company has received an order that has reached the maximum capacity, another company can step in and help, staff are borrowed when needed from each other, joint purchases are made, etc. The knowledge about each other is great and you know where the help can be found. There is a great dynamic in the network and through the collaboration, an individual company can “take on assignments” that it would not really be able to handle on its own.
The local or regional network can, through its common strength, influence decision-makers to act in a way that benefits the network’s members. Examples of this can be that the municipality leases land for business start-ups, arranges better communications, ensures that there is housing for employees.
Business networks between companies
The possibilities of what a business network can accomplish are many. The network can organize a trade fair, advertise together to attract customers from an area outside what is normally processed, for example.
Many smaller companies have begun to formalize their network in a virtual (imaginary) organization to increase their strength and opportunity in the market. They gather around a common work area.
For example, an order comes to a “big company”. This virtual company then buys the product or service from the real companies involved and which are part of the network. From the fact that everyone has been a small player in the market, they have suddenly become a large player. This virtual form of business is common in the service sector.
Industry and interest organizations
The fact that companies have joined forces in different interest groups has existed for a long time. The most common in terms of interest grouping are industry organizations, local and regional trade associations, business groups belonging to a limited geographical area, employers’ organizations, associations of smaller companies.
An industry association is an association of companies working in the same industry. The purpose is to safeguard the interests of the industry, debate issues both internally and against other groups. The management body functions as a lobby and pressure group against e.g. Politicians.
Other issues that are usually handled at the industry level are requirements for certification, design of common guidelines, disseminating knowledge about the industry to students, etc.
Another important part of the trade association’s work is to support the members with various services. Examples of such services are the provision of statistics, legal expertise, drafting standard contracts, and training.
If the company is part of an industry organization, be an active member. Attend seminars and meetings. When colleagues meet, information usually flows, ideas of various kinds emerge, suggestions for collaboration are given, and so on.
Interest groups often cover different industries. Here, it is usually other issues that are dealt with than in an industry organization.
Important issues that are dealt with in this type of interest organization are those that concern the conditions of entrepreneurship, e.g. taxes, government requirements, consultative bodies for new laws, working environment, access to a skilled workforce.
Employers’ organizations are there to help their members conclude collective agreements, assist in wage-setting issues, insurance, various personnel issues, statistics, and more.
Why do you need a business network?
Business networks are more and more discussed these days. These are often digital networks, not least wireless networks that allow us to use services such as Twitter and Facebook wherever we are.
But there are also many other types of networks. It is becoming increasingly common for different types of political actions to be carried out by loosely composed networks, where members organize themselves around various individual issues.
But not least, it is becoming more and more common with business networks. Such networks can take many forms. Among small business owners in an area, it is common to join forces and offer discounts to the customer who chooses to hire one of the business owners in the network. It can go like this:
Benefits of a network
For the entrepreneurs who are part of the network, this type of collaboration can have great synergy effects.
For small businesses, time and money are almost always the same things, and time saved can often be defined as a financial gain. Not least, being part of a network can be a hallmark of quality.
The density of business networks varies in different parts of the country. In some places, organizations like Rotary work as a business network in practice. For the company that has just entered the market, it can be important to enter such a network.
Fortunately, more and more people are realizing the value of good business networks, and it is becoming increasingly common for municipalities themselves to create forums for cooperation between business owners. The collaboration becomes most effective when it is only focused on business.