Business Networks The Business Idea Paper
The business idea
The business idea revolves around the provision of marketing services to small and medium size companies in the local community. The demand for this establishment is based on the fact that numerous SMEs have limited financial resources and do not afford to hire and maintain a full time marketing department. The idea then is that of offering consultancy to numerous firms in the local community, based on their specific needs and for the organization of various campaigns, as required. This alternative is more beneficial for the economic agents as it is more efficient, less costly and also allows them to benefit from the expertise of marketing specialists on a system of payment by service delivered.
Identifying and building the network
The first step to identifying and building the business network is that of remembering all people, both acquaintances as well as closer friends and family, which might be relevant in the context of the business to be developed and implemented. These names are put down on a map, and then linked to other potential individuals and companies. It is also necessary to identify what positions these people hold, what are their hobbies or any other information that is relevant in the context of the business. The map below reveals the contacts identified:
The relevant contacts
All of the contacts revealed in the map above can be relevant at one point or the other. The notary public and the lawyer for instance would be used when setting up the legal aspects of the business. Other contacts are nevertheless more relevant in the specific context of the business developed.
Particularly, these refer to:
The HR manager at the local bank
The self-employed contractor
The origami creator
The receptionist and the hotel manager.
These people could either individually solicit marketing support, or through the companies in which they work. They are highlighted in the map below.
Given that all these people in the network are either friends or acquaintances, they would initially be approached in an informal manner, through which the business idea is presented. Upon interested manifested by them, a formal presentation would be organized.
1.4. Networking opportunities
Aside from the network revealed previously, three other possibilities are available, namely:
The approach of the managers in the firms where the parents are close family members, e.g. parents, spouse etc.
The approach of the managers in the local community in a professional and direct manner, without the existence of a link with the firm
The creation of an online representation to approach managers in the virtual community.
Task 2. The database
The database is essential in any firm, but even more so in one that delivers services to various parties. It is as such necessary to develop and maintain a database that maintains contacts with the members in the network; of interest and activity and participates in network events that promote the business. In this order of ideas, the database to be created and maintained by the firm would include the following headings: number, name of customer, name of partner firm, name of potential customer / pursued customer, list of events in which the respective customers / prospective customers had participated in, list of events in which my firm has participated, area of activity for the customers / prospective customers, other interests of the customer / prospective customers.
Task 3. The network presentation
An important aspect of launching the business is that of presenting the network and gaining the necessary support. In this order of ideas, it is necessary to start of by presenting the network. In this order of ideas, a presentation would serve the purpose of introducing the individual and the business, as well as explaining the benefits to be generated. A draft of this presentation is revealed below:
Whenever I was watching television, I found myself fascinated by commercials. They were my favorite thing on TV. They were original, creative and I though that the people creating them were very talented. But the commercials I used to love were generally created by large size companies, conglomerates even. I remember enjoying the Nike and the Schweppes commercials especially, as they were engaging and often interactive. But in the creation of these commercials, vast resources had been engaged.
Still, not all companies have the possibility of financing vast marketing campaigns. But all companies need to promote themselves and their products in order to succeed in this growingly complex, dynamic and competitive market place.
Our company aims specifically at this need for marketing support, especially on the part of small and medium size companies in the local community, for whom the hiring and permanent maintenance of a full time marketing department is inefficient and not feasible.
Our business then aims to provide marketing consultancy and services on a pay as use system, in which marketing specialists create campaigns as required by the companies. In this setting, our customers benefit from vast expertise in the field of marketing, in a highly efficient manner.
The previous presentation is a draft, and the final version would be improved. In order to identify the improvements necessary, the presentation could be evaluated through the lenses of its ability to clearly state the activities of the firms, its objectives as well as the benefits it generates for consumers.
Task 4. A problem
The success of the company is pegged to a wide array of elements, such as the access to financial resources, the creativity of the marketing and design specialists, or the ability to convince and attract customers. At this level, the company is likely to encounter a wide array of problems. One relevant examples of a problem encountered is represented by the price charged from the client. Specifically, the organizational clients are which already possess insufficient resources to invest in their own marketing departments. This virtually means that they are price sensitive and the company could encounter challenges upon soliciting its price.
A first step to resolving this problem is that of clearly communicating with the customers before the marketing collaboration is launched. Specifically, dialogues would take place through which the customers would state their demand and the company would make its estimative offer of service and price. Then, it is important for the company to implement the to negotiation.
At this particular level, it would define and ask numerous questions, as they are relevant and important in the given context. Then, they would commit to fairness in all actions, operations, decisions as well as discussions. This approach enhances the reputation, reliability and trust in the entity. Third, the firm would develop several options for the customer — which are also viable for the company; this ensures that the customer is aware of the willingness of the company and also allows the client to select an option that is most suitable for them. Last, upon the encounter of difficult situations, or when this is deemed necessary, the company could solicit or accept the participation of tertiary parties in the negotiation process (Roberts).
Armstrong, G., Harker, M., Kotler, P., Brennan, R., 2009, Marketing: an introduction, 9th edition, Pearson Education
Roberts, S., What is ? Negotiations, http://www.negotiations.com/articles/win-win-settlements / last accessed on April 11, 2012
Vervest, P., 2005, Smart business network, Springer
The small business management series — establish business networks
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