Join Online Communities for Your Business Success

Visual of Online Business platform for Business and Chamber Directory

The Communities feature is now live and running on the CONNECTS platform. The new feature enables users to join online communities to do business, connect, and exchange information with other entrepreneurs.

In this article, you will learn more about what online communities are, who they are for, why you should join one, and what the CONNECTS Communities feature can do for you.

What is an online community?

An online community, sometimes also called a web or an internet community, is a space where members can communicate and interact, mostly via the internet. Online communities have become, for many, like a home, a safe space, or a family.

Most of the time, to join an online community, a person will have to become a member through a specific website. This will then allow them access to certain links or content. Now that society and our economy have completely integrated media life into everyday life, online communities have become a culture of their own. 

Online communities are now full-blown information systems in which users can share, post, comment, discuss, collaborate and advise, even giving out medical advice and sharing healthcare research. Most often, people will communicate via email, forums, social media, discussion boards, social networking websites, and chat rooms.

There can be all sorts of reasons for joining an online community, sometimes through blogs, virtual worlds or video games. One can even make romantic connections and find a partner via dating virtual worlds and other dating platforms. Web 2.0 sites have become more and more popular, making real-time connection and communication with others a lot easier. It has also made the spread of information a lot easier.

Why are online communities important?

Online communities can offer a whole range of services to its users. Such communities can enable communication regardless of international borders and cultures. People with all kinds of different backgrounds, who might not have otherwise met offline, are now able to connect and interact. 

Web communities have also allowed the exchange of and access to information. Online communities exist for even the smallest of niches. It is possible to find other people interested in a given subject and then share information about a topic which few people know about, and might not be available in a given geographic area offline. This is why there are online communities for specific topics such as employment, health, education or finance.

By joining an online community to do business, you will be able to reach people you might have never met otherwise, and discover new opportunities, suppliers, potential partners and customers. You will be able to expand your networks, adding another avenue for potential success to your business.

Who can benefit from online business communities?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a shock for everyone. However, some have fared better than others. SMEs have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. The ones that survived and even thrived during the pandemic where the ones that adapted to the situation.

According to a Connected Commerce Council and Google report that looked at SMEs in America, the value of SMEs having a ‘Digital Safety Net’ is undeniable. The safety net is built on technological infrastructure and comprises agile and affordable digital tools that have made it possible for small companies to survive longer and recover faster. It can increase a business’s preparedness and, even in the worst of times, improve business results and even survival rates.

Joining an online business community is one way entrepreneurs, SMEs and even large corporations can make their businesses more resilient.

What is the CONNECTS Communities feature?

Visual of an Online Communities on CONNECTS

CONNECTS is an online Business Matchmaking Platform that allows entrepreneurs to initiate trustworthy business opportunities worldwide.

Digital transformation and innovation have never been more essential for businesses. We believe strong business relationships can only be developed through trusted networks. Working with Chambers of Commerce, we provide access to online leads, suppliers, partnerships, skills and business communities you can trust.

The fast-growing platform is unique, simple, and effective for business development and growth. CONNECTS has been developed to support Chambers of Commerce, SMEs and Start-ups.

The Communities feature on CONNECTS enables users to invite other users to join online business communities of common interest. There, they can share information, have 1:1 chats, exchange business information, and organise meetings and events. 

Users will also be able to broadcast their Teams, Zoom, and Webinar sessions to wide audiences, monetise their communities by providing exclusive access and information to paying members and manage events such as trade missions.

Are you an entrepreneur wanting to discover and develop new opportunities, both locally and internationally? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform and start your free trial.

Already a member of a participating chamber? Join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo

Free trial extension during the covid-19 crisis

Image of business matchmaking platform Chamber of commerce

To help more #SMEs do more of their business online, we have decided to offer #entrepreneurs 3 months of free trial for one user on CONNECTS. This is our way to help entrepreneurs and business communities in their fight against the #COVID19 crisis. The offer is valid from April 2020 until 30 September 2020 for all SMEs worldwide.

These are tough times to run a business. The world is changing, and companies eventually need to prepare themselves for the post-crisis situation. With the #coronavirus crisis, there is no doubt that the new normality of developing business for many will be digital. Businesses around the world must develop more resilience, making themselves less dependent on personal meetings and contacts. Chambers of commerce can play a critical role in the online business world by providing opportunities you can trust.

So, the big question is: why wait? This is how CONNECTS can help your company to survive and leverage its business activities during and beyond the COVID19 crisis:
• SMEs can continue buying, selling and connecting
• SMEs enjoy a larger pool of trusted companies to do business with
• SMEs can reach out to Chambers directly for local knowledge and personal introductions

Not a member yet on CONNECTS? Sign up for free and enjoy for 90 days a free trial of the digital business match-making tool that will help your company to develop your business opportunities.

“Buy”, “sell” or “connect with” the new opportunity types in CONNECTS

It’s the end of the week, and I’m sure everyone needs rest in these challenging times and circumstances. However, before weekend CONNECTS has some good news for your business. New features have been added to the decentralized platform. With the new normality online, CONNECTS will help your business to gain more strength and will be a valuable business development tool.

First new feature: simplicity is key, therefore we simplified our opportunity types and now work with the following 3 only: “buy”, “sell” and “connect with”. This will help all platform users to order and cluster the opportunities posted.

Also, the country list in company search is now translated into the user languages: English, Espagnol, Fench, Deutsch. If you set your dashboard in French and search for companies in let’s say Belgium, the platform will search successfully even if you type Belgique. You can also use ISO codes in the country list for company search. For example: if I’m a Spanish speaker and I put GB for Great Britain, the platform shows me automatically Reino Unido.

Last extra feature: we offer the translated country list in your company profile as well. This means every country will be written in your dashboard language when modifying your profile.

It’s important to feed our users in the best way possible. With these extra features, we hope to provide more value to our platform members. If you need support, training or you have a question regarding CONNECTS please let us know at communications@connects.world.

CONNECTS is a digital match-making platform that provides entrepreneurs and SMEs with worldwide instant business opportunities you can trust. Join CONNECTS for free for 30 days!

Pin the most relevant opportunities and companies for your company in CONNECTS

More great news to start the week: new features in CONNECTS!

Users can now pin their most attractive opportunities and companies. No need for long search processes anymore. The pinned opportunities and companies are right in your profile menu. Concretely, in two simple clicks, you have an overview of all relevant opportunities and companies for you and your company.

The possibility to search users is also a great new added feature! Users can search for other users by company name, location and even job title. So, if you need to contact instantly all managing directors, COOs or business developers from Chambers of Commerce members, for example in the Flemish Region of Belgium, you can directly do this with CONNECTS.

Because of the increasing amount of users and opportunities created, insignificant opportunities or companies from now on can be classified as “not relevant”. As a consequence, you won’t see that particular opportunity or company in your personal dashboard anymore. The aim is to ensure relevancy for all our users.

Saving the best for last you can also label the status of pinned opportunities from “prospecting” to “closing a deal”. This way, users have a clear overview of the process of all their business opportunities. One could almost say you don’t need a CRM anymore!

 

Although the CONNECTS platform has progressed a lot since its launch in 2019, there is always room for improvement. As mentioned in the book “Platform Revolution”, written by Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary, platforms are “transformative” and thus capable of producing impressive results. The concept of openness in a digital platform encourages innovation and if users push the system to unexpected uses, this could motion new directions for the platform to take.

Eventually, platforms grow in openness as they evolve meaning there will always be the necessity for change, progress and development. If you need any help you can always contact us at communications@connects.world, or you can always click on “Help” in the header and read our support guidelines.

 

 

Not a member yet? Join CONNECTS for free during 30 days and explore instantly worldwide trusted business opportunities!

Es ist offiziell, CONNECTS auch in deutsch!

Hello dear Chambers, Moderators, connectors and readers! CONNECTS has great news to share with you at the end of this great week, and yes this new feature makes this week, definitely a great week! I’m absolutely not going to write a whole post in German, but with the title of this blog post in German, you probably have an idea what this is about.

Our technical team have given- like always- their very best to implement the German language the best way possible to our platform CONNECTS. Now all opportunities are available in English, French, Spanish und auch in Deutsch! You can “sell”,” buy” or “connect with” in German without any issues. I’ll repeat myself saying that 2020 started with a bang (new team members on board and AWCCI joining CONNECTS), but maybe that will be a (good) habit for CONNECTS as the future sounds bright for our company and brand. Our ambition is to accommodate trusted business opportunities all over the world, by integrating completely the German language in our platform we’re one step closer to fulfil our mission.

Very proud working at TIAO with an ambitious and skilful team!

Not a member yet? Join CONNECTS for free during 30 days and explore instantly worldwide trusted business opportunities!

CONNECTS is available in French language

CONNECTS is the go-to tool to develop your business in a safe and trusted environment. In a nutshell, every member is linked to a Chamber of commerce and Chamber staff are responsible for moderating the platform. The development team is continuously adapting the platform to meet companies’ needs and help to make #BusinessWithoutBarriers more efficient. We are very excited to announce that now the platform is available in three languages: English, Spanish and French. You can choose your language on top right corner. Besides this, you will be able to choose to translate each opportunity and each message in English/Spanish/French and View original.

New exciting features on CONNECTS

CONNECTS is the go-to tool to develop your business in a safe and trusted environment. In a nutshell, every member is linked to the Chamber of commerce and Chamber staff are responsible for moderating the platform. The development team is continuously adapting the platform to meet companies’ needs and help to make #BusinessWithoutBarriers more efficient. This time, we are happy to present three exciting new features on the platform.

  • New button to select language: English or Spanish with opportunity and messages translation

We are very excited to announce that now the platform is available in two languages: English and Spanish. You can choose your language on top right corner. Besides this, you will be able to choose to translate each opportunity and each message in English/Spanish and View original.

  • The Who Viewed My Company page

This feature displays your profile visitors, and can provide additional trends and insights about viewers. To access the feature:Click on your picture icon > choose my company and you will see it on top right corner.

  • The Who Viewed My Opportunity

    feature displays your posted opportunity visitors in the last days, and can provide additional trends and insights about viewers. To access the feature: Click on your opportunity > you will see it on top right corner.

You can now invite a company to join Connects yourself

Be.connected and COBCOE Connects are the go-to tool to develop your business in a safe and trusted environment. In a nutshell, every member is linked to the Chamber of commerce and Chamber staff are responsible for moderating the platform. The development team is continuously adapting the platform to meet companies’ needs and help to make #BusinessWithoutBarriers more efficient. This time, TIAO team is happy to introduce you to a new feature: invite a company yourself!

Now you can invite any company you know to join and use the platform.

On top right you choose Companies > Invite the company > fill in company’s information and employee’s email and press next. Your moderator will be notified and can help you to follow up as necessary.

Do #BusinessWithoutBarriers even easier with TIAO developed platform!

Five new features on the platform

be.connected and COBCOE Connects are the go-to tool to develop your business in a safe and trusted environment. In a nutshell, every member is linked to the Chamber of commerce and Chamber staff are responsible for moderating the platform. The development team is continuously adapting the platform to meet companies’ needs and help to make #BusinessWithoutBarriers more efficient. This time, we are happy to present five new features on the platform.

  1. Help file

Browsing the platform and need assistance? On the top right, you click “Help” and you will find FAQ that w improve your user experience on the platform.

  1. Reset search and uncheck all buttons added to a company search page 

Right now search is simplified and you can browse companies by choosing location and sector with a few presses of a button. If you want to search for companies in various sectors and countries, you can press “Reset search” and start your search choosing different criteria.

 

 

 3. Email already exists an error will be provided with extension explanation

  1. Trying to invite a colleague, but you receive a message that the “email already exists”, on top you will see the extended message stating the company that email belongs too.

4. Easy way to edit your company’s profile details

The more information you provide about your company on the platform, the more chances of being found by other companies. Hence, don’t hesitate to provide as much details as possible.

Go to top right corner > click on your photo > choose “Edit company” > scroll down > click on the pencil icon “Click here to fill your advanced profile” > provide the details > click “Save” 

  1. Change colleagues’ status

From now on, you can set your colleagues to activate or inactive on the platform. Menu path: Click on your photo > My colleagues > Click on a colleague’s name > Set to inactive/active.

TIAO introduces be.connected to Euracen Trade Mission with El Salvador

Today, Joost Visser and Nicolas Mathieu attended a trade mission organized by Euracen. The event was introduced by Her Excellency Julia Villatoro, who reminded us how Belgium, Euracen and local partners were important for the development of the coffee supply chain of El Salvador.


Her Excellency Julia Villatoro,
Ambassador of El Salvador in Belgium

Belgium is indeed the 3rd coffee trading partner of El Salvador (7.9% of the trade) after the United States (42.8%) and Germany (14.9%).

Board Director of the Salvadoran Coffee Council, Ricardo Esmahan, gave a comprehensive presentation of the challenges of the Salvadoran Coffee Industry and solutions that were envisioned to overcome them in order to become a reference in terms of qualitative, environmentally friendly and socially sustainable coffee production.


Ricardo Esmahan,
Board of Director of the Salvadoran Coffee Council

As Nicoletta Favaretto from Eurochambres introduced the economic cooperation programme AL-Invest 5.0 financed by the European Union. In total, the total budget available for El Salvador was about 800.000€ for the improvement of productivity of local SMEs in order to reinforce every step of the production & transportation chain.


Nicoletta Favaretto,
Senior Project Officer at Eurochambres

Joost Visser, from TIAO, introduced be.connected, our matchmaking platform based on trust, that helps connect members of chambers of commerce together. Joost explained how our platform is built by SMEs for SMEs & Chambers to reinforce business relationships across the world by reinforcing trust. Indeed, every member who is on be.connected is a member of a chamber of commerce and his/her identity has been verified. As all members on the platform have been invited by one of the Chamber moderators, it is very easy for all members to get in touch with each other, either directly, or via their moderators (there’s a maximum of 2 degrees of separation between all members of the network).


Joost Visser, CEO of TIAO

Nicolas then showed a demo of the platform and introduced opportunities that can be published by any member who wants to introduce a request or an offer to members of the network. Moderators will receive the opportunities and will search within their members to check if there are corresponding matches.


Nicolas Mathieu, Product Manager at TIAO

This event was closed by a networking session, with coffee and croissants, where all participants could discuss partnerships and further collaboration.