Some new business owners struggle with how to treat their ‘competition’. Do you research what they’re doing? Do you try to beat them on price? Do you even try to undermine their integrity?
What if collaboration is a better option?
It can be difficult when you’re in start-up mode not to have a negative view of your competitors. They are already established, they already have the clients you would like to have and they may the staff and infrastructure you can only dream of at this stage.
A much more constructive approach to competitors is to see them as potential collaborators and partners.
Learning from what your competitors do well, and tapping into what and who they know, can be a real short-cut to getting your business off the ground.
Getting to know your competitors (and I don’t mean spying on them!) will be one of the best steps you can take towards having a successful business.
Ask yourself: How can I help them? What expertise, tools and experience can I offer that will support their success?
A friend of mine calls this ‘coopetition’. I’ve built my business on close relationships with other businesses that outsiders would see as my competition.
Opportunities for collaboration are everywhere – if you’re open to seeing them.
If you are still hesitating about picking up the phone and having that first conversation, give us a call first. We are always open to opportunities for collaboration and happy to help with tips to start you on your ‘coopetition’ journey.
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Chris Bulmer - National GM Learning and Development, ISS Australia
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