Are Competitors Your New Business Partners?

One of the trends in business today is reframing your perspective to open more doors and maximize your growth opportunities.

In that regard, consider who knows nearly as much about your business as you do?

And who knows as much (or more) about your industry and markets as you do?

You can identify these organizations and people. So, doesn’t it make sense to have conversations to explore potential opportunities?

Advance Your Industry and Build Your Business

A few days ago I presented multiple programs on QR codes and social marketing to an association of hospitality professionals. I advised them to eliminate the word competitor from their vocabulary. The reason for this is that approach does nothing to advance their industry.

When you you look for differences you will find them – just as you will also discover opportunities for developing beneficial partnerships if you are open to them too.

Caution:  There are laws that protect free markets. When talking with your competition, be sure you are clear about laws regarding price fixing, restraint of trade, and collusion, to name a few. These laws have serious penalties, so do your homework.

Business today is more challenging than ever. There are few companies that cannot use a helping hand, especially among small businesses whose resources are already stretched.

When you combine your resources, experience, and industry knowledge with like-minded professionals, you become better equipped for moving your business forward.

Partnerships do not have to be permanent. They can exist exclusively to advance a single project. This approach is very common in the film industry.  Everyone comes together to produce the project – and then its over.

It’s a simple formula that can work in your industry too.

Business Partnering Is the New Leadership

Viewing competitors as potential partners starts with a mindset – one of cooperation, as opposed to competition.

Think about the fact that when you are competing there has to be a winner and a loser.

Whereas, when you are partnering everyone shares in the outcome. The only way to have losers in that scenario is to create a complete failure – which is unlikely if there is true cooperation.

The key to successful partnerships is taking them one project at a time. This way, you limit your risk to one single endeavor.

Partnering is like a first date. If it doesn’t work out, everyone moves on. What could be more straightforward?

It’s time for businesses to get over themselves if they expect to move forward. The old model was all about secrecy and exclusivity – I’ve got this and you don’t.

The new model is all about inclusiveness. We can work together to better serve our markets and communities, and in the process, build better businesses.

What do you think?

Are you open to this?

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Until next time, Jeff

Photo Credit: renjith krishnan