Any small business has competition. The key to much success in the small business sector is down to collaboration. That means working with, rather than against your competition.
Let me tell you a story about an old friend –
This person was working at HMV in Brighton. He had two tickets to see Barry Manilow in concert that night but could no longer go. Being a good person he offered his tickets to his staff, but had no takers.
He then proceed to stand up and shout to all the customers in HMV –
‘I have two free tickets to see Barry Manilow in concert tonight, does anybody want them’
Again, there was no rush of takers and a general hush came over the store. The hush was only broken by a lone voice from behind some CDs that said –
‘Does nobody want to come and see me?’
At this moment Barry Manilow raised his head above the shelves. He had been in the store all along and was purchasing some CDs.
You never know who is listening to what you say. Sometimes there are people in your peripheral vision that can really make a difference to your business.
In this case, had Barry Manilow stood up and offered his own tickets, do you think there would have been takers? Probably, as you would be less likely to say no and would be more trusting about what you were receiving.
For small businesses you may not have a Barry Manilow, but you will know people who you can work with. Often better business results can be achieved through working with your competition, using your connections and being open to new ideas.
Collaboration is the USP of the small business. It is easy for small businesses to work together, much easier than the big boys can, and this is where better business results will come from.
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By David Farmer