Entrepreneurship and Networks – Assignment 5 – Tom Willemse

Entrepreneurship and Networks – Assignment 5 – Tom Willemse

Hi there readers,

This week’s assignment is about the same entrepreneur as last week! This week I’ll write about the voluntary memberships. I invited the women that owns a lingerie shop to talk about this topic.

The only association she is a member of, is the retailers association. This association discusses the plans for example the Christmas decorations and Sunday shoppings. She speaks with them once a month to talk about the plans in the upcoming month or about the upcoming events. They have to discuss about various stuff like when the discounts start but also about the recent discussion about zwarte piet (black pete). The entrepreneurs have various ethic backgrounds just like the customers. In this case there a compromise has to be made. Having various ages and ethic backgrounds in this association is very valuable for her. It’s a good reflection of the customers so there won’t be any mistakes that can hurt people. At the other side she learns new things from them about older/newer sale techniques or tips others had a good experience with.

Besides this association she also joins exhibitions about new selling techniques in the lingerie sector or about the latest trends. By joining these events or exhibitions she’s always up to date to give customers the best experience and products. By doing this she has satisfied customers, which know that she has the most recent products.

These exhibitions are offered by the salesman of various brands she sells in her store. Of course there is reciprocity, she learns how to sell more products by which the salesman’s sell more products as well. For her this is a valuable network, not only to learn new things but also meeting other shop owners in the same sector. For example, she wants to set up a webshop but other entrepreneurs that tried it before said it’s very hard and will not live up to the costs in the first give years. While everyone in her direct environment said she had to do it because all the clothing shops have also an online shop, the entrepreneurs in the lingerie sector discouraged her. This has to do with the fat that the whole lingerie sector is built on service and advising a good fit and size, rather than t-shirts which only come in 6 sizes bra’s come in more than 30 sizes.

These are the two associations she visits regularly but not that often. She do find them very useful and couldn’t do without it.

Tom Willemse


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