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How do you evaluate your business network?

Van Raesfeld-Meijer: Introduction of six ways to evaluate your network. Size, dependency, allocation, density, brokers, and indirect relationships.

After you have visualized your business network and described in more detail which partners control what resources and conduct what activities that are essential for your start-up, it is time to evaluate your business network.

Network evaluation can help you as a start-up to make effective and efficient use of your partners. Investing time and energy in network extension might facilitate access to resources. But in a large network, maintaining partnerships takes time and investments. Making as many contacts as possible will probably not pay off. An entrepreneur has to decide about the trade-off between adding contacts and strengthening existing relationships. We present six criteria to evaluate your network and help you to decide to look for new contacts or invest more in an existing relationship:

  • Size,
  • dependency,
  • allocation,
  • density,
  • brokers, and
  • indirect relationships.


Semrau, T., & Werner, A. (2014). How exactly do network relationships pay off? The effects of network size and relationship quality on access to start‐up resources. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(3), 501-525.

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