Why Are Some Business Networks Succeeding and Others Failing?
Nowadays business networks look like virtual interest groups and incorporate people with different skills that can prove useful one another online. However, when it comes to managing businesses and raising profit, not all networks are helpful. In this paper, an issue about most frequent failures in specific areas of business and the solutions to them is raised.
The article written by Crawford appeared as a reaction to a number of consultancy requests from different companies doing business online. They all had a relatively common problem and complained on inefficiency of resource allocation. Marketing strategies of all these companies were poor to certain extent and this, as they viewed it, was an obstacle for profit maximization. In the article, the author tries to outline the main problems and present a short list of improvements in this delicate issue.
The main part of Crawford’s article concerns the solutions to the problems that the companies most frequently face. His checklist is about how to keep potential customers at the corporate website rather than how to attract them. The article proofs its usefulness for that it describes and explains the techniques, which show the business as credible and trustworthy. Crawford points out that in terms of the online network establishing credibility is a hard work for each entity.
Among the strengths of the article, one may outline the list of the immediate practical advices given by the author to improve the performance for the companies who address with this issue. The article may appear to be even more helpful for those who only plan to launch e-commerce business or just a corporate website. Crawford explains the common problems, which usually occur, and comments on how they can be solved. “Let’s begin by acknowledging that network marketing is nothing new,” – says Crawford. I would like to mention that here he clearly establishes credibility of himself as a writer and a professional in dealing with similar issues. His article sounds persuasive, although the author lacks sophisticated writing skills and referring to other sources as some kind of proof or contribution.
In whole, there are some other clear weaknesses. The article deals with too narrow topic. Supposedly, not many businesses can benefit from such simple explanations and consultancies, that’s why the promotional background of the article is almost obvious. A consultant who tries to sell his ideas and methods will be most probably verbose rather than descriptive in presenting the material. The research on the aforementioned methods should take place because saying that following the exact instructions will lead to success and inability to follow them will result in fail (Crawford) cannot be considered a precise measurement of the innovations and changes the company is going to implement.
In order to study Crawford’s approach and his point of view more accurately, I suggest that we should now briefly observe the given topic on the basis of an alternative article that was recently published. Crawford talks about a separate business issue such as marketing. But separate does not mean independent. Here one may find an omission – some parts of the business model can also be inefficient and the other units of organizational structure or company’s operations may seem unattractive to the clients. What you offer is sometimes much more important than how you present it. In certain industries, customers will be more product- or price-oriented so they will probably take a risk of putting an order on the website or spend some more time searching for the necessary information or service. Crawford argues this possibility: “Internet surfers are very impatient and if they can’t figure out what the site’s about in a few seconds, many will simply click away.” (Crawford). Primarily, let us observe the definition of the business network as a whole. Business network is defined as a type of interpersonal connection where an individual has an opportunity to establish contact with a circle of colleagues or business professionals in order to share information, give advice and get help (Byham 2010). The definition implies that the overall environment of the firm is not limited only to its marketing department. The interaction between company’s stakeholders can take place even without the involvement of the company itself. “So you need testimonials and statements from a variety of people verifying and validating all of your assertions,” – concludes Crawford in one of his advices. To support Crawford’s thesis, I would like to mention that company’s partners – external contacts – or even employees – internal contacts – may stimulate a potential customer to make a purchase. On the one hand, the latter can hear a recommendation or be advised to visit the website or consume a product or service. On the other hand, consumers may find something that catches attention on the website. They can be familiar with a name of the partner company or the contractor as well as they can be acquainted with the methods of delivering the service or even equipment used. The more the client knows about the company, the more trustworthy the company looks to him or her.
Personally I fully agree with the following statement: “No business can afford to do the same work twice or to work inefficiently” (Byham 2010). The global approach shows that the businesses that spend too much money and resources without the proportional increase in revenues are about to fail (Byham 2010; Crawford). I also agree with the author’s suggestion about the correction of mistakes at the corporate website. The business that displays its problems just at the website looks pretty suspicious. It is an arguable issue whether it is better to have a far from perfect website or not to have it all – both variants result in opportunities lost, that’s why being clear about promotional and marketing policy is one of the main steps on the way to an effective expansion. Crawford is very strict about the point considering that inability to create a nice online representation of the firm is “preventing […] from succeeding”. However, the understanding is not usually enough. If you can develop a business model or a solution, you will not surely be able to develop the website satisfying your idea. The writer sounds extremely cheerful provoking the Do-It-Yourself principle. One should understand that limitation to this is a necessity to establish a well-organized cooperation between a manager in the company and either an internal IT-department or outsourcing IT-specialist. The efforts of the manager who is not responsible for launching and running the website will not be probably appreciated if he or she starts dealing with the issue on his or her own. Besides, a web designer can be a nice example of either internal or external contact within the business network.
Following up, I would like to point out that business networks are created exactly for pursuing goals in increasing the efficiency of each process and operation within the company. Failures of such networks usually lie in the way they are applied and the members they comprise of because wrong prompts and decisions lead to the loss of profit, market share, and customer loyalty.
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