I think it time that I let the rabbit out of the hat (or is that something out of the bag? I prefer a magical approach). I have partnered with a friend and we are starting a new business. Net-Working-Pro or NWP for short is a new online business referral network that has some differences to what you will find online or offline.
The Norm in Networking
There are usually two types of business networks that you find. Either they are the more traditional networking functions where a group of business owners gather together in person to share business cards and contacts, possibly passing referrals between themselves, or an online format which tends to result in more of a business directory style. Some of them have an educational aspect, most of them don’t.
NWP on the other hand is taking a slightly different approach. Unlike the traditional networking style, we are doing meetings online. If you have ever attended a traditional networking meeting then you will be aware that you have to drive to the meeting, have the meeting, and then drive back. They often involve breakfast or lunch which can be a bonus, but in essence you may be taking three hours out of your work schedule to meet a few people and depending on which network it is, you very seldom get anything out of it. Some work well, other’s don’t work at all.
With a more structured style you get to build relationships with the people and create a circle of associates that all work together to bring referrals for each other’s businesses. However, you still have to take time to travel to and from the meeting, and most of the time, your focus on the business network doesn’t just end there.
The NWP Approach
NWP is a structured approach. You will be building teams of people or business owners from your community or around the world that all work together to bring each other business, however there is no travelling. You can save an hour, maybe two hours of your day, of which you can focus on your business. This also saves on petrol costs. To borrow a phrase from Nashua, saving you time, saving you money.
The teams themselves are called Bubbles. Why Bubbles you may ask, seems an odd name. I went looking for the collective noun for a group of entrepreneurs and found that there wasn’t one, however on a Quora posts someone suggested that people were starting to lean toward a fad or a bubble of entrepreneurs. We liked bubble, and so it stuck. Fad just seems like a flash in the pan, I mean it’s definition is “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived; a craze”, and we are definitely not going to be short-lived.
What NWP Offers the Business Owner
So what would a business owner get out of NWP? You have to picture it. Imagine you had a group of say 20 people, all from different professions and trades that want to grow their businesses. They all know that in order to do that they need to help others in order to get back. After all, the more we help someone, the more they are inclined to help us. So, amongst the 20 people, you may be able to send business to let’s say 5 people. On the other hand, a different 5 people may be able to send business to you. As long as you are working as a team, and everyone can see that you are trying to make an effort to help grow your fellow members businesses, people will want to help you. It’s the nature of the human.
As you get into this whole networking thing you may find that you start to make connections with other businesses that compliment your own business. You may want to then consider creating a Team Bubble. For instance, you are a website developer and you get the opportunity to quote on a very large project. The client needs a full-house turnkey solution which includes branding, website, social media, online marketing and a mobile app. You can offer the website and maybe the branding and social media (although you are not an expert), but you simply don’t know online marketing or how to build the type of mobile app that they want. What do you do? If you submit a partial quote for only the things you can offer them, they will most probably reject it and go with another company. However, if you have a Team Bubble where you have business owners that offer all of these services, you can then offer a turnkey solution and win the contract.
But Wait, There’s More
But it doesn’t end there. NWP will also have the business directory aspect where anyone can go and do a proximity search for the type of business they need. Let’s say someone needs a plumber. They do a search for “plumber” within a 40km radius from their chosen location and it will present them with all of the plumbers in that area. They can go through each profile which has a short video explaining their services and introducing them, and all of their contact details. The member profiles also have a vCard which is a QR Code that the visitor can scan straight to their phone and add the business contact details to their contacts.
Then there is the educational aspect. Connected to the NWP site is a store with downloadable eBooks covering all sorts of topics such as business growth, marketing, and even self improvement. Whilst the public have to pay for these eBooks, members get them all for free. We also have a blog on the website which has some great articles, but there is also a member’s only blog area which has more in-depth articles, all providing some great education on networking and how to improve your business as well as yourself.
But Wait, There’s Even More
And still, it won’t end there. We will be constantly improving the platform. We are looking at adding a project management system, CRM and invoicing system, as well as a fully functional mobile app so you can stay connected wherever you are.
What we are building is a place where you can manage and handle your entire business growth on one platform, including word-of-mouth qualified referrals from people you know and trust, a searchable business directory, education on how to improve your business, and tools to help you manage and operate your business as well as being able to offer your clients turnkey solutions.
This is the digital age, and we are bringing networking into the 21st century. We officially go live 1st September 2019, but go and check out the site, bookmark it, sign up for the launch announcement, and Like the Facebook Page. Get ready for the revolution. You’ll find us at https://net-working-pro.com and the FB Page is @NWPHoldings.