Best Practices

SoMNSourceLink: Building your network: Like a Coral Reef?

Published Nov 12, 2013 by

Business owners whose end objective is similar, not product or market, can help each other thrive the most.

In his November 4 post on Entrepreneur.com, Art Markman, researcher and author at University of Texas at Austin, and Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations, states, “Every entrepreneur knows that it is important to find a community to help grow a new business. What kind of community is going to be most effective? There are lots of options out there --  incubators, business accelerators, bootstrap communities. How can you find the community that is right for you?”

Markman describes the right kind of connections are much like those of the animals that come together in the ocean to form coral reefs: each is unique, they have different life cycles and needs, but they have a common purpose:  feeding, surviving, growing. 

Markman’s research has shown the interactions that promote thriving and growth of an entrepreneurial community result when organizations whose end objective is similar come together.  “When you form a company, you often have a sense of the ideal outcome for your business. You might want to create a venture that will sustain you and your family for the next 20 years. You might hope to create a company that ultimately creates wealth for the initial partners through an IPO or acquisition. Whatever your desired model, though, it is important to link up with other companies that have a similar ideal outcome.”

Restaurant owners only meeting with others in the restaurant business?  Or IT developers only meeting with those in the same business?  Not necessarily the best road to success. 

As you meet and talk with current business owners, people who are successful, or who are just starting out, find out if your end vision is similar to theirs or to their experience.  Grow your network with people who can help you move to your vision. Find people with a common vision, talk about your ideas and collectively grow even better ones.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229584#ixzz2jhnNxOye

Content contributed by Maria Brown, SoMNSourceLink. SoMNSourceLink is a proud affiliate of U.S.SourceLink, America’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs.