As a small business owner, your instincts are honed to seek out competitive advantages in your niche. You work hard to offer your customers reasons to keep coming back – and to choose your business over large scale enterprises. However, the difference in economies of scale between SMEs and big-box businesses can often be difficult to overcome.
In order to find easier access to funding, to develop competitive edge and create a voice in the community, to overcome business obstacles, improve revenue, and to learn new strategies, small business collaboration must be emphasized even in a competitive business culture.
How can you embrace opportunities to connect and ensure that your small business collaborations succeed?
Co-Operate, Co-Promote, Co-Create
As you find other local small businesses whose products, models or principles are complementary to your own, opportunities to co-promote will let you make the most of each others’ strengths. For example: designers, clothiers, jewellers or other fashion-forward businesses might collaborate on an exhibition of their wares, leading to increased interest and cross-pollination of customer bases between the businesses. Firms specializing in certain business services can attract clientele in the small business world to create mutually beneficial relationships. Creative agencies might also wish to collaborate in order to make all aspects of their projects small-business-powered.
Band Together For Financing Success
The search for small business financing is at the top of every entrepreneur’s to-do list. Networking with a wide variety of local businesses, suppliers, and mentors will add strength to your qualifications when it comes time for your business to be reviewed. Good networking will help you by showing trends of activity and creating positive references in your community.
Grow From Collaborative Knowledge
Many small businesses have developed tools or assets that could benefit the productivity of their fellows. Non-competing small companies who supply the same customers are a great place to start looking for people to share advice and knowledge with. Why spend the energy reinventing the wheel on a strategy or fall prey to a common planning mistake when you might be able to take advantage of another business’ experience dealing with the same sorts of challenges?
Small business collaboration opens up the opportunity for valuable networking that might help you break out of a creative slump. No matter the kind of inspiration you need – be it for marketing, management, or business strategy – it’s best to avoid the tunnel vision effect that often creeps up when you are focused solely on your own situation.