A lack of tangible support and education means that during a recession, businesses are left floundering when a structured support network is desperately needed.
This is the opinion of Chris Batten, CEO of social network ipatter.com as he comments: “From what we are hearing from our users, physical networking once a month only gets SME’s so far. In the current climate, contacts and a fistful of business cards simply isn’t enough.
“You can meet 50 new people at a networking event but if your staff are demoralised or there’s no strategic or financial plan underpinning the operation, then networking is futile”.
As a result, Battens company ipatter.com, is developing its offering to give businesses networking opportunities balanced with business support in equal measure.
Beyond being an online social network which businesses use as a platform to promote themselves, ipatter.com will launch a range of books, roadshows, business masterclasses, discussion groups and a bi-monthly magazine geared up to give people advice on running their business and weathering the recession.
Services based on education, experience aggregation and information exchange will form part of the offering, along with events.
“We’re not saying that there’s no place for physical networking; just that the current networking model alone is not enough. We will still offer physical networking to businesses but we also understand that this needs to be supplemented by online activity, practical advice and tools of support”.
Batten who has been a business mentor to over 250 businesses worldwide as well as CEO of companies in the UK, US and Middle East added: “Our primary purpose is to develop ipatter into a business that takes advantage of aspects of the traditional business model and the new media model, resulting in a dynamic business with the lowest possible risk profile”.
The ipatter.com support programme will be based around Chris’ theory of Business Alchemy, which suggests that a business cannot be successful without seven key business principles plus an understanding that the prominence of these seven principles needs to change with the business climate.
The principles of Business Alchemy include Strategic Planning, Leadership and Sales & Marketing.
“Business Alchemy is not rocket science. In truth, its simplicity is probably the biggest reason why so many businesses miss out on exceptional performance and just get by”.
It is claimed that ipatter.com has generated 140,000 successful business connections within its network of almost 3,000 broadcasters. For just £30 p/month, businesses can sign up to be a ‘Broadcaster’ and benefit from the full business support package.