- Internet Strategies for the Small Business Investor: 7 New Rules of Play
- Rule #2: Test the market, then capitalize on findings
- Rule #3: Develop just enough to achieve your goals
- Rule #4: Develop iteratively, testing and refining between iterations
- Rule #5: Use what's at hand, before investing in new tools
- Rule #6: Develop partners, allies, and networks
- Rule #7: Take advantage of the unique strengths of the medium
Rule #6: Develop partners, allies, and networks
Market strategy always involves understanding competitors, locating suppliers, and defining target customers. Internet strategy, perhaps more than other arenas, blurs the lines between these three agents, and requires that we collaborate with all three in new ways. The Internet enables the business process that:
- Identifies companies operating in niche businesses that can work collaboratively with yours.
- Stratifies the market in ways that allow competition to generate business for all.
- Joins networks to establish strength and size, rather than building it all in-house, allowing your business to stay focused on core competencies.
- Invites customers to perform significant components of your business process for themselves.
- Allows suppliers to share in performing portions of your business process for themselves.
Your Internet strategy should define those avenues that will act as entryways for your site, referring business to you through passive or active links. Search engines, sponsors and advertisers, news media addressing the topic of your business off and online, and sites providing services complementary to yours should all be considered.
You may also want to develop partnerships with publishers, software providers, or communications service providers that need fresh ideas and the execution savvy of a start-up company to generate new business opportunities. These partners can provide the leverage, credibility, and market coverage that your business needs.