Why Your Business Is Not A Business

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Airbnb is not a traditional hotel, it’s a network. Likewise, Amazon is not a traditional retailer, it’s a network. But you don’t need to be a corporation to be a network. In this Vlog, Grant demonstrates how you can turn your own business into a network.

If you think of a hotel as a traditional business; somewhere you went to stay overnight and provided all the facilities, what would that make Airbnb?

Airbnb is less of a traditional business and more of a network. In other words, Airbnb is a platform and it brings together property owners, tourists, people that provide experiences in different cities around the world, and creating all that value makes it very, very compelling.

And this is true of many modern-day businesses. Amazon is not a traditional retailer. It’s a network, and everybody within the network provides value. So manufacturers supply their products, so Amazon can sell them. Customers come on and spend money. They allow people to open shop stores, which takes care of the long tail, those products and services that people wouldn’t normally find in other places. And then of course, you’ve got the advertisers themselves. Everybody’s adding value to the network, and the creation is amazing, but it’s not traditional.

There’s almost no sector that’s been untouched. So if you think about what LinkedIn has done for recruitment, but it’s a network. If you think about Just Giving as a platform for donations for charities, but again, it’s a network. We are living in the world of the network business.

So you may have a traditional accountancy firm that offers business advice, does compliance, and looks at tax returns, etc. But what if you make that a network? What if you plug in business advisors? What if you plug in angel investors? What if you plug in experienced entrepreneurs? Suddenly you have much more value creation, something really more interesting and lots of other doorways and avenues that prospects can come in and access your company.

You don’t have to be Amazon, and it doesn’t need to be complicated, but for example, a cafe might get a chocolatier to come in once a week for a tasting. In so doing they add, lots of value, lots of excitement, but they start to become a network, especially if that chocolatier actually sells some of their chocolates in the cafe. If you want to create more value, a bit of differentiation and a bit of excitement, think less about being a business and more about being a network.

There may be small changes to the spoken word in this transcript in order to facilitate the readability of the written English

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