It’s Your Network, Stupid: A Business’ Underutilized Asset

January 28, 2009 at 2:33 am Leave a comment

I have been working in the technology sector longer than I’d like to admit and, after freelancing on the side for awhile, I recently ventured out on my own. I found that I have a knack for energizing start-ups and small businesses as a “fresh set of eyes” with a perpetual “out-of-the-box” perspective on any business. In mid-December, one of my clients asked me if I could get a meeting with a much larger company in the hopes of establishing a strategic partnership.

I didn’t have any contacts at the other company so I logged into my LinkedIn account. When I located the CEO of the company, LinkedIn informed me that I had one contact who was directly linked to him. This particular contact was my manager at a fortune 50 company nearly twenty years ago (I was enrolled in a cooperative education program and traveled out to Oregon from Boston for a 4 month job) I sent an email to my contact outlining the opportunity and asked if he could introduce me to the CEO. That same day he made the introduction, the CEO engaged his VP of business development and we had a conference call two days later. We’re currently negotiating a substantial strategic partner agreement that will be extremely valuable to both companies.

Take the time to build and maintain your business network. Periodically review your contacts and think of creative ways to partner and/or generate leads.  You never know from where your next big business deal might originate.

Entry filed under: Small Business. Tags: , , , , , .

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