Through the years I’ve brought a lot of promising young companies (primarily tech start-ups) to the attention of angel investors and VC funds, and one of the first questions I ask entrepreneurs is, “What’s your business plan?” Before they risk investing in a company, funders want to see a strong, concise, detailed description of exactly how and when the business will turn a profit.
My question to you is, do you have a business relationship plan—a strategy for developing the connections that will help you succeed?
The right network can represent significant value for you and your business, because the people in it can provide connections, opportunities, funding, and support. But to build a strong network will require an investment of your time and effort. That’s why I believe you must have a plan for finding and building the relationships that can mean the most for your success, and a system for deepening those relationships over time.
Developing a valuable network starts by assessing your current one. Here are a few questions to get you thinking.
As you know, a business plan doesn’t just assess the current state of the business. Its most important aspects outline a strategic plan for building the business in the years ahead. I believe that you have to do the same with your business relationships: you need to think strategically about the relationships you need to develop to reach your goals. Ask yourself these questions.
A healthy network of strong connections is one of your most valuable personal and professional assets. That’s why you should assess your network’s current health while you create a solid plan for its future growth and development.