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Networks pictures: Why and what?

Tamara Oukes: The core of managing business relationships is networking. How to initiate, develop and maintain your business relationships .

Research has shown that entrepreneurs are more successful if the collaborate with other people, businesses and organizations.

Entrepreneurs need to use their network of personal, business and organizational contacts to acquire resources and information that they do not possess and cannot buy. Yet they often lack the willingness or required knowledge as well as collaborative experience to network intentionally and effectively (Witt, 2004). Therefore, we explain in this video the importance of networking and introduce you to a tool – the network picture – that supports you in networking purposefully and successfully.

Our experience with using this tool in entrepreneurial education is that entrepreneurs get more insight into their network’s size and diversity as well as the strength of and dependence on their business relationships. In turn, they are better able to decide whether they should seek new partners, terminate existing relationships or invest more (or less) time and effort in a certain partner.

In the following steps you will work on:

  1. Creating a picture of your network
  2. Improving your (picture of a) network
  3. Sharing your improved network picture

Reference

Witt, P. (2004). Entrepreneurs’ networks and the success of start-ups. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 16(5), 391-412.

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