Business Discussion Forums (BDF)

Sustainable benefits through regular exchange with other businesses in your sector.

Complex tasks often require a large number of specialists who are employed in large businesses. In small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), however, these tasks are often performed by management. For this reason, SME entrepreneurs are looking for competent business partners with whom they can analyze and discuss different situations.

One of the most effective ways of providing mutual support is to share experiences in an group setting. This offers entrepreneurs support in the area of leadership and management that is specifically tailored to their needs. Through this exchange of information and business management know-how, the member businesses can secure long-term success.

We draw on several years of consulting and research experience in dealing with SME-specific issues to manage such BDF groups. Members of a BDF group could be owners, managing directors, and entrepreneurial executives from SMEs with proven decision-making authority within their company. The businesses should not be regional competitors with each other, and should be of comparable size.

The IOL-OST offers interested businesses the opportunity to take part in a business discussion forum (BDF) for small and medium-sized enterprises.

As a rule, the BDFs comprise 5 to 9 members (business owners or executive decision makers), who meet in 3 to 5 day-long sessions each year. The IOL-OST is responsible for preparing and chairing meetings.

  • Fostering discussion and exchange between members (information and ideas)
  • Addressing business and technical issues of the companies involved
  • Discussion of legal and technical innovations
  • Evaluation of positioning by comparison with others
  • Addressing fundamental business questions
  • Promoting friendly contact with peers and maintaining personal relations with members

BDFs are most effective when the participants regularly attend meetings and play an active role. Openness toward other BDF members and absolute discretion toward third parties are an absolute must. New entrants are thoroughly checked and care is taken to ensure that there is no competition (e.g. local distance, etc.)