Leveraging relationships to build a global startup is an opportunity every entrepreneur must exploit. According to an HBR article, networks deliver three unique advantages: private information, access to diverse skill sets, and power.
Here are four things you must know when building your network:
- Identify Your Network Cluster
Your networking efforts must be focused. You don’t just want to build relationships with everyone. You must identify the set of people you want to connect with. Since you are starting global, you might want to consider those outside your immediate market. Social media makes it easy to connect with those outside your reach.
- Build Relationships First
This is an obvious truth. You should not start out by asking favors or putting in requests. Your first objective with anyone in your network is to build a relationship. It is the strength of the relationship that will grant you access to your demands
- Offer Help First
This creates positive capital. You should be quick to render a service to the members of your network. It opens you up to their favors. Often times, you might have to render this service free of charge, do it anyway and you will be rewarded for it in time.
- Represent Your Brand
Finally let everything you do, speak of your brand. Your network should not only be familiar with you, they should also be acquainted with your brand. You must make the effort to put brand out there for them to see. For example, let the emails you send out carry your professional signature rather than a personal one. Exchange your business cards regularly, make your brand collaterals visible. Ensure that your network can strongly connect your brand to you.
This article is part of a series of conversations around helping entrepreneurs in Nigeria start businesses with that cater to a more global audience. This will help improve Nigeria’s export base and create sustainable trade surplus for the country. These issues will also be discussed more extensively at the SMW 2017 event, themed, Leveraging Digital to Build Global Startups from Nigeria. To learn more about Leveraging Digital to Build the Global Startup from Nigeria or SMW Lagos 2017 and register to attend visit click here. For the latest news and updates follow Startit.ng on Twitter via @StartitNG or on Facebook via www.facebook.com/StartitNigeria