A business-to-business network is an organization dedicated to helping its members grow their business through the facilitating of networking between companies. These networks may be local networks with in-person networking or online communities that allow easy connecting of businesses through the use of the Internet. Typically, business-to-business networks help connect members through networking events or discussion of issues pertinent to their respective industry. The ultimate goal of a business-to-business network is to connect its members with others operating in the same or related industry in order to develop a mutually beneficial relationship between the companies.
Historically, a business-to-business network was typically a local organization that staged regular networking events where its members would gather, generally to see a speaker, and discuss business opportunities. While in-person business-to-business networks are still useful and important to the development of every business, the rise of the Internet has made the operation of wide ranging business-to-business networks much more feasible. Through online discussion boards and referral services, it is easy for the owner of a company to connect with the owner of another company on the other side of the world to discuss business opportunities.
A business-to-business network helps a new organization speed up their growth by connecting it to other businesses with which they may develop a mutually beneficial relationship. For example, a business-to-business network may connect a new distributor of a product to a supplier who distributes that product and offers the new business a reduced rate in exchange for their continual business. These kinds of networking opportunities are the core mission of a business-to-business network.
Well established organizations can benefit as well in different ways from joining a business-to-business network. As a business grows, it eventually reaches a point at which it can no longer maintain its pace of growth. Through networking, new business opportunities may open up for such a company, allowing it a new source of revenue or referrals to grow its customer base.
There are plenty of benefits that apply to all organizations from belonging to a business-to-business network. For example, business-to-business networks often provide cheap advertising channels for its members. Further, no matter the age of the company, owners can learn about ways to improve their businesses simply by interacting with owners of similar businesses and discussing their respective challenges. Young companies can learn from the mistakes of more established companies, and more established companies can streamline their business plan through discussion with owners of similar businesses.