Through Dawn Kelly—
In today’s small business world, competitive analysis is at the forefront of any marketing strategy. As an entrepreneur, however, you understand the importance of critical, objective thinking.
This leads to innovative ideas and new avenues for business growth. Applying this concept to your current competition will give you an edge; a desirable, slumbering secret partnership.
Collaboration is an often overlooked opportunity to expand your business astronomically. By strategizing with your competitors, you can leverage this newly formed network to attract a plethora of customers.
Imagine growing week after week, breaking sales targets and planning even more ways to serve your customers. The best part? All your customers are a perfect fit for your company. They resonate with your services, leave rave reviews and love your team.
As a bonus, your workplace culture is healthier than ever as you are able to provide your happy, loyal team with top pay, educational resources and support.
Does this sound a bit naive? Oversimplified? I hear someone in the back yelling, “Things are supposed to be complicated!” I get it. If running a business was easy, everyone would do it. However, simple and simple are not the same. Working together is simple, but not always easy.
Critical, objective thinking – where you excel as an entrepreneur – requires you to consider this point of view. Without further ado, let’s welcome collaboration as the bold new look of business growth!
The more you know, the more you grow. This also applies to female entrepreneurs in your industry. I’m not saying you should expose your trade secrets; just suggesting you connect with other strong contenders.
Be the first place your customers consider. Replace the random web searches. Chances are, your businesses aren’t identical. Recognize your differences and address customers in a wider range.
From there, customers can choose their best match. Perhaps more sporty people choose your company, while stay at home mothers prefer someone else. But they all start their search within your network.
Exceptional customer service
There is no need to sacrifice customer service. If you can’t keep up with demand without sacrificing service, hire, delegate, and collaborate. There is only so much time in a day, which means your business is at maximum operational capacity.
Once you reach that threshold, hire or accept a waiting list. A minimal waiting time is understandable. More than a month is not ideal. Trade the long-term waiting list for a referral-based directory with an ROI that will sustain your steady growth.
Does this sound like a contradiction? How do you grow when you give things away? Play the long game. That’s why patient, innovative thinkers always win. Build a reputable referral network collectively known as the gold standard of your industry.
Let’s go shopping
Imagine a shopping center. People typically spend money in more than one store in the mall. It is doubtful that they also shop on the outskirts of town.
Now you say, “But they offer many different services in a mall!” Yes, in this scenario the customer buys many different things. Now zoom out. The mall is the attraction. The convenience of many options.
Take this concept and niche it to your industry. Get your power back from freelance sites and random directories. Just imagine being part of a women’s powerhouse in your industry. Now you are the mall. You are the one-stop shop where people go first.
This is not an easy affiliate program. This is a game changer.
No more spying, stressing or desperately copying the competition. Embrace your uniqueness. Focus on providing the best possible service. Then do it better.
Spend your crafty time in retreats with your former competitors. Brainstorm innovative ways to further strengthen your network. Dominate together in your industry. Take back your power as women-run companies.
Consider online dating. You type in the list of qualifications on a dating site and get several matches. How do you decide who to date? On paper they are all the same.
You decide to use the intangible – what feels good. Apply this to your business now:
- Your network is the dating site.
- Customers choose their best match.
- They refer to others.
- A reference ripple effect is created.
- Bonus! Your network attracts others in your industry, opening up more opportunities for more female entrepreneurs.
Obviously, you’re not referring your customers to others without providing the best experience possible. However, not every customer will be a perfect fit.
If they break up with you gently, learn why, and then compassionately let them go. Recommend a better fit instead of bothering them to come back for the next 6 months. This will earn you a reputation as an authentic company to work with and for.
Your most powerful self imaginable
Wealth equals influence. Rich women working together bring real change. They are paving the way for more women-led businesses to grow and prosper.
An increase in wealthy women brings an increase in cultural and social changes. Everything from equal pay and better fringe benefits to a more female-friendly culture.
Supporting women entrepreneurs by connecting, referencing and growing together is empowerment embodied.
As a small business owner, you need a resilient network in the long run. Larger companies will continue to offer faster, easier and cheaper options. We all want to thrive in our businesses and now we can do it together. With modern technology, customers are more accessible than ever.
Now you see what this can mean for you. It is possible to team up with your competition. Simple, even.
The logical next step leads you to join forces and set the path ablaze while attracting an astonishing number of higher-level customers. By bypassing paid advertising, your network is now your industry’s gold standard by preferring collaboration over competition.
Janice has been with businesskinda for 5 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider businesskinda team, Janice seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.