The Importance of Collaboration For Small Business
GUEST BLOG POST BY: Elaina Lyons
You’re a small business owner. In other words, you’re a busy, hard-working, hardly-ever-sleeping, over-achieving professional with a penchant for exploring the unknown. You’re a badass.
Small business owners, regardless of their field of work, have these traits in common. We all strive for success and, because we own our own businesses, we reach a little bit further and work a little bit harder to achieve it. You’re not alone. Owning a small business is hard work. But one of the most vital components to your success won’t be in beating out those other small businesses around you – it’ll be in supporting them, boosting them up, and collaborating with them. You might be wondering how you can possibly get ahead if you’re not trying to one-up your opposition. After all, business is nothing if not a dog-eat-dog atmosphere of cutthroat competition. But while you should always be striving to offer your unique spin and pull customers and clients in, you can’t lose sight of the importance of working with your fellow small business owners.
Collaboration is important for several reasons. Here are just a few:
- If you have an existing client who needs a service you can’t offer, referring them to a trusted fellow small business will garner positive responses from the owner, as well as appreciation from your client. Customers want to know you have their best interest at heart, even if that doesn’t necessarily boost your profit margins. If they see you referring to others, they will trust you more, because they’ll know you won’t do a shoddy job yourself just to keep their business. You’ll make sure to do what you do perfectly, and let someone else handle what you can’t.
- Collaboration helps you reach broader audiences and clients. By working with others, you can gain visibility you might not have had otherwise.
- Collaboration strengthens the economy and the local community. By encouraging your customers to support other area small businesses, you are helping to ensure the continued stability and growth of your local economy. This, in turn, comes back to help you, too.
- Working with others, both in your field and outside of it, gives you the ability to learn from other methods than your own. We tend to get stuck in a rut of comfort, thinking we know the best ways to do everything in our business. But sometimes there are better ways of doing things, and working with others gives you the chance to explore those.
Collaboration can come in many forms. You can:
- exchange coupons with another small business and have them give out yours and vice versa,
- shout out other small businesses on social media and ask that they do the same,
- sell products made by local artists and vendors,
- host joint contests and giveaways,
- work together with other industry experts to create panels, workshops and other educational classes to help your community,
- refer clients, friends and loved ones to local businesses and ask that others refer to you,
- and have a “Follow Friday” where you share some of your favorite small businesses with your followers.
There are so many ways to support your local community. People want to know that the businesses they patronize are team players that care about their communities.
We only grow by helping to boost others. So today, make a list of five local businesses you can support and reach out to them. You might be surprised at how they can help you, too.
LET’S WORK TOGETHER: THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLABORATION FOR SMALL BUSINESS