Melbourne Business Network
The Premier Business Networking Association
Melbourne Business Network

Members' eNewsletter


Let me start with a question.
If you and I have a business relationship, how would you value the relationship and how would you expect me to value it?
It's an interesting question and one which I have recently been thinking about, a lot more than I normally would.
As a networking believer, which is probably a good thing, given my position; (Would'nt it be funny if I did not believe in networking - no not really!!!!), I feel that "good business" is all about starting, building and maintaining a relationship. It mainly applies to longer term business, but I also believe it applies to transactional business as well.
Relationships are all around us. We have them in our persoanal lives, family, friends, spouses and partners; (be careful of the spouse and partner thing at the same time, as it is not a good mix as some of my old flying buddies have found out!), and it is often difficult to manage them. With the bonds we create, if we sometimes cause damage, we can repair them, move forward and learn not to make them again. The people close to us, tend to remember the mistakes we made, and while forgiving once, (unless the mistake is one they could never forgive), they may not forgive a second time.
But are business relationships the same?
This question has been sitting in the back of my mind for a few weeks. The cause, a recent large corporate job that we lost for no apparent reason. The job, we had done for several years; built a great relationship with the client and also the clients that they invite. So much so, that I actually had dealings directly with the invited clients and was usually asked to attend the day as a guest. We had never had complaints, knew the job well and had always been willing to help.
Then out of the blue, a slight staffing change and the relationship changed. Suddenly, we were treated different. The job specifications changed and we were told that they had a cheaper price than we charged previously. Our requests for the final specifications were not forth coming and when we said we could not provide a price until we had the full specifications, we were told our services were not required, interesting.
I had made several attempts to get the specifications, even using the presure of time, as I was due to go on holidays soon. My last request, provided my date of departure, and at the 11th hour, I was granted a meeting; the only time available was the day after my departure. "The writing was on the wall".
The job went ahead and one of the attendees invited me as usual. The product supplied was inferior to what we had previously supplied and a few of the items promised, were not even delivered. A few of the attendees were not happy, but promises to complain may be forgotten. My concern is, it was never really advertised that it was not us who supplied the product!
Anyway, this is not a gripe on my part. My interest now, is to analyse the effects on the relationships we had.
The first one is with the direct client. By their behaviour, I would say our relationship is damaged. Is it repairable, maybe not. But what is then the flow on effect? 
The client, while not realising it, may have now damaged their relationship with their own clients. But by doing so, will the flow on effect, damage our relationship with these clients, by association and lack of information. Will the problem be directly attributed to us? Addiditionally, if the cleints find out it was not us, the question will be asked, "what did we do wrong to not get selected? "A great question, but the only one who will have the chance to answer it, will be the client who decided not to select us. So how do we convey that we are as much "in the dark' without it sounding like "sour grapes"? Do you approach the attendees directly and further damage the relationship with the client who did not want us?
So, to what length do you go to protect a relationship in business?
It is vital to stand up in business and believe and build trust in the relationships you form. We have to always think that while we might not worry about a damaged relationship with one person, what flow on effect can it have on other relationships. The old adage; Do the right thing and they will tell one other person. Do the wrong thing and they will tell 100.
While it is a bit of a delema, and we can only stand by the reputation we have delivered in the past, I know we must tread carefully. My hope is that the attendees will protect our reputation, (as they have known it), for us - good old word-of-mouth. But it is something we must all continually think of.
Would love to hear anyones thoughts and if your happy, will circulate them. Let me know.
Enough of relationships.
For those of you who attended "Ready, Steady, Grow" last week, how good was the night? 4 fabulous speakers and the special guest speaker, not only humoured us, but gave us all some great business thoughts and facts. Thanks must be passed onto our panel and guest speaker and for all of you who attended.
If you listen to many of the very successful business people, you need to continually educate yourself. For those that missed the event, you missed out on gaining a first hand insight to 5 very successful business people; the mistakes they have made and the way they took the GFC head on and grew to the success they are in today.
We had some great emails about how good the event was. If anyone would like a free plug for their business, please send your emails, telling us how great the events are, to Tracey in the office at and we will get them up on the web site. All emails will be posted, so it is a great way to let us know what you think and get a bit of free advertising.
So enough of my thoughts.
I'm looking forward to seeing you all at the Melbourne Day Debate on the 27th August. It is shaping up to be another big hit and already 2/3 of the seats are sold, SO PROCRASTINATE AT YOU'RE OWN PERIL. Over the last few years, I have not left this day without sore stomach muscles from laughing so hard. A tough gig to back up with the closing speech after the very funny and talented debaters we have had.
Stay warm and dry, (if you can) and we look forward to seeing you all soon.
Keep up the good business networking as, to pinch a phrase from a well known brand, "You know it's right. - I'm Dave King." (Thanks for the lend of it Sam!)
Dave King
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 August 27th - 12 noon to 2pm
Celebrating Melbourne's 175th Birthday
"That Melbourne Is Still the Foodies Capital"

October 8th
MBN Golf Day - Kew Green Acres Golf Course

October 29th - 12noon to 2pm
Zinc, Federation Square
  November 30th
Celebrating Women in Business - "Celebrating Leadership"

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Enterprising news for you
The City of Melbourne’s economic development initiative for business, Enterprise Melbourne, brings business services and information together, making it easier for you to do business in the Melbourne municipality.
Regular updates to keep you informed
The Enterprise Melbourne eNewsletter is designed to keep you updated on all the latest business news in Melbourne, including:
·         research and reports on business activities and economic development
·         innovative business ideas
·         industry snapshots
·         business events
·         grants and sponsorship opportunities
·         law and permit information
·         marketing opportunities
·         city news and developments
Enterprise Melbourne will contribute greatly to the City of Melbourne’s long term vision for Melbourne as a bold, inspirational and sustainable city.
Visit the website and find out how Enterprise Melbourne can assist your business:

Weclome to our New Corporate Members

Victoria University
VU School of Business and Finance, provide TAFE level courses in Management, Accounting, Events, International Business, Advertising, Marketing, Human Resources and Public Relations.

PO Box 14428, Melbourne, 8001
P:  9919 8686  F: 9919 8746  E:

Cancer Council Victoria

1 Rathdowne Street, Carlton, 3053
P: 9635 5000  F: 9635 5290  E:


Welcome to our New Individual Members

Primary Edge Promotions

We are a Promotional Marketing specialist where your brand is of the utmost importance to us. We have substantial global and local sourcing capabilities and if the product is not available – we will create it.

As well as servicing small business we have built solid relationships with BIG name clients in the following sectors: Sport, Banking and Finance, Government, Entertainment, Healthcare, Real Estate and Construction.

7/280 Whitehall Street, Yarraville
P: 9687 5400 

SOHO Lawyers Pty Ltd
Cost effective and very experienced in corporate/commercial law, property, planning and environmental law, litigations, debt recovery, wills and estates.

Suite 8.04, Level 8, 365 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
P: 8676 0433  F: 8676 0499  E:

Drake Training

Better Customer Service, sales training for SME's; proposal and report writing courses, outlook, excell, word & powerpoint training.

Level 40, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne
P: 9245 0333  M: 0437 104 456  E:

Canterbury Road Productions

PO Box 2219, St Kilda West, 3182
P: 9593 9051  M: 0419 390 962  E:



We launched Melbourne Business Books at our February Breakfast Function and now are happy to offer to you discounted books through Melbourne Business Books.  This is a partnership between ourselves and one of our Corporate Members, Wilkinson Publishing.  Take a moment and have a look at the many books that are on offer, click on the logo above to find out more...  

Wilkinson Publishing Head Office is at
2 Collins St
Melbourne Vic 3000

Ph (03) 9654 5446
You can contact Michael Wilkinson, Publisher, via email

Melbourne Business Network
Suite 202C Level 2, 282 Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000
T: 03 9639 6950     F: 03 9663 6405


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The Small Business Institute