Networking online for professional purposes is more important than ever in this day and age, with people turning to their online networks to promote themselves and find new jobs. mySBX is a new network for professionals, with a focus on the individual.
This D.C.-based startup provides tools to connect individuals on multiple levels for their professional development. mySBX also offers tools for large and small companies alike. Below is an excerpt of an interview I had with mySBX President Jeff White, who speaks on the way in which mySBX manages to appeal to so many aspects of professional networking.
Kristen Nicole: mySBX is a niche set of tools designed for professionals. How does it work and what are the major benefits of mySBX?
Jeff White: Its more of a collaborative platform with several tools designed for professionals, independents and small businesses. Basically we are what we believe will be the next generation of social media/platform. Forrester says the next big thing is business collaboration for resource planning and management. We are there now and then some. The Washington Post calls us Match.com meets small business. In effect small businesses and independents come to mySBX (my Small Business Exchange) and accomplish a variety of goals:
Â· Win Business – We have a set of matching algorithms that take new business opportunities and find the right business partners who can fill them and bring the two parties together in ways that never could have happened before.
Â· Find and Place Resources/Consultants – One of the biggest struggles for independent professionals and small businesses is resource planning. Ensuring billable consultants stay billable. When small businesses have a $100/year person on the bench it costs them $10/month (loaded with benefits) – Somewhere out there a business could use that resource on a contract just the two parties don’t know about each other. Our matching algorithms bring the parties together and help match supply with demand.
Â· Knowledge Library – We have 30,000 artifacts in our knowledge library that members have contributed and collaborated on. Providing a deep rich industry repository for our members to take advantage of…
Â· All of the matching algorithms (called Match Alert) work to bring the best matches to supply and demand in the market and expose members to opportunities they never would have seen before. Effectively acting as their agent working 24/7 on their behalf.
Kristen Nicole: With established networks for professionals such as LinkedIn, what does mySBX bring to the table?
Jeff White: Again our belief is the world doesn’t need another social meeting place – or more friends or writing on walls – We need real business platforms that harness social media to bring efficiency to inefficient markets. Much like eBay didn’t suspend yard sales, flea markets, etc.. They just brought efficiency to highly fragmented and inefficient consumer to consumer markets. We are doing the exact same thing for small business and independents.
[the established networks] are about white collar professionals and we are about independents (me inc’s) and small businesses… Helping them connect to real market opportunities with real market capacities and capabilities.
Kristen Nicole: In terms of providing differentiating features for individual professionals, small businesses and large corporations alike, how do you cover so many bases?
Jeff White: Well that certainly is a great question. We have an individual model, a small business model and an enterprise model. I would like to take credit for this but it’s my vision and my technical teams execution. In some respects it’s the shopping mall theory. The same basic shopping mall caters to large businesses (JC Penny, Hecht’s, etc) but yet has a place for small boutiques and the product people in the cart. It’s all one marketplace/local – just a value proposition for various constituents.
Kristen Nicole: Where do you see the trend for professional networks going and where do you fit into this larger trend?
Jeff White: I think the world has all they can handle of social networks and the 1000’s of derivatives. It’s becoming micro-social now based on [geography], interests, domains, etc.. But in time (like the Internet maturity) – these will mature to offering real value in order to maintain mindshare. You need to create efficiency and clarity, not encumber and echo noise. You need to create intrinsic value in engagement not perpetuate the surface level interactions. Hope this helps..
Kristen Nicole: Do you rely on integration with other social or professional tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Outlook, in order to provide value to your clients?
Jeff White: None actually although we do use Outlook integration for some communications and also have all the content sharing integration tools you may expect. Also we have integrated with twitter (http://mysbx.com/followmysbx) but have done so in a different manner as you may expect. Folks can subscribe via twitter (or email) to specific event information that brings actionable value to them not just noise and clutter. So for example you can subscribe to (all events, new members, new opportunities, resource availability or demands, etc)..
Kristen Nicole: What are your next steps?
Jeff White: Change the world, cure cancer, and solve world hunger.. Then have lunch.
Ok Ok Ok – We have launched into the government marketplace first and we want to be the “go to place” for any small business or independent professional in this market. We think we will have accomplished this by late fall. Then its onto commercial markets and beyond!