Not the 9 to 5: collaboration not competition

September 3, 2019 by

As a small business owner, it can be easy to fall into the trap of living in a bubble. You know your business, your products and your services better than anyone, which can lead to you being blinkered to the opportunities around you.

may think that one of the biggest threats to the success of your business is your competition. But this doesn’t always need to be the case. Yes, it’s advisable to be familiar with other similar companies, but do this in a positive way: admire their work, identify their strengths, carve out opportunities for your business that they don’t offer. Think of them as peers who have a mindset not dissimilar to your own. You share a passion and an ambition: consider them an equal rather than a threat. If you can be positive about their offerings and not be intimidated by their business, you’ll end up being much more confident in yourself.

If you do want to go one step further and think about collaboration you need to be honest. There may be an overlap in what you can offer which may have implications on your revenue, but the PR opportunities may outweigh this. Before engaging it’s worth thinking about what you hope to gain: do they have a large social following you could benefit from being in front of? Is there an upsell opportunity whereby you can combine products to create a larger investment?

We’ve worked with many local businesses this year and several have started collaborating already, with great success.  Here are some ideas on how to collaborate and potentially find new customers:

- Consider the size of your network and if you can offer each other a new audience. Be a thought-leader by introducing an expert to your customers and followers. It’ll make you appear confident and informative

- Up-sell. It’s not always about who wins the budget: sometimes there might be a real business need for an additional service. If you build a network of complementary businesses and can introduce them to a client you’ll be indispensable!

- Develop ‘virtual’ teams and projects. Working for yourself can be solitary: develop relationships with people you enjoy being around and use meet-ups to inspire new projects or joint ventures. It’ll be fun and maybe lead to more revenue opportunities!

Los Social has formed a collaboration with About Communications, a one-stop comms shop based in Leigh-on-Sea. We are holding an event for local business owners at Create98 on Wednesday 11th September 5-7pm. No-nonsense advice from two business owners with over 30 years experience in marketing and comms. It’s free to attend and you’ll get a dedicated 15 minute slot to discuss your business challenges, ambitions and everything in between. Get in touch with me to book your slot:


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