In the cutthroat world of business, it can be difficult committing what little extra time you have to help other entrepreneurs. After all, aren’t those who have the same goals as you your competitors? They could be looking to steal your clients in addition to your secrets to success, right?
This logic, however, can be completely detrimental to your growth as an entrepreneur and your business. (Plus, doesn’t it sound a wee bit childish and paranoid?) Connecting with like-minded individuals can give you ideas on how to overcome hurdles in your own business.
By supporting and promoting other businesses, your own company can also gain valuable exposure. Without further ado, here are five ways entrepreneurs can help each other succeed.
Give Feedback to Newer Entrepreneurs
Giving feedback to newer business people can both gain the respect of your peers and show your compassionate side. You don’t necessarily have to be like Kris Duggan and give out free 45-minute calls to 100 prospective entrepreneurs, impressive as that was. A little can go a long way.
Who knows, maybe you could benefit from some fresh perspectives on the market. Nonetheless, make sure whomever you choose to advise is actively looking for feedback, or you could come off as pretentious.
Connect via Social Media
Having a strong, active presence on social media can bolster the credibility and marketing of your company. Following and interacting with posts from other entrepreneurs can also help boost their digital presence. As long as they aren’t your direct competitor, collaborating with other entrepreneurs online can be a huge marketing tool. To get your business promoted, you’ll likely have to promote others also. Don’t hesitate to spread the good word about a company you feel is promising.
Know When to Pass Off Clients
Odds are that you’ve interacted with a few potential clients who had needs beyond what your company could meet. Instead of turning them away, you could suggest a different company that could better accommodate them. Not only can this improve business for your recommendation, but it can also offer the client assistance instead of dismissal. For example, if you contract home remodelling and a client is asking for help constructing an office building, it would be a perfect opportunity to suggest a different, better-suited company.
Also Read: How to Use a Credit Card While Traveling?
Collaborating with Competitors
Yes, despite the obvious drawbacks, rival companies can mutually benefit from collaborating on certain issues.
Oftentimes, working with similar companies overseas won’t run the risk of losing your clients in your home country. While you won’t want to exchange company secrets or clients, connecting to work on research can help both companies overcome common issues.
In addition, a group of competitors can come together to get ahead of a single company that has pushed the others out of the market.
That being said, there are limits to how friendly you should be with your rival businesses, as these alliances are not typically intended to be permanent. Letting your guard down will make your business susceptible to other competitors and anti-competitive practices. In fact, price-fixing and group boycotts can be illegal in many countries.
Whether you put them on the sales floor or in your marketing team, giving a young entrepreneur a foot in your door can set them up for the rest of their career. Their aspirations may be larger than simply being your employee. However, giving them a taste of the hard work that goes into keeping a business running will be a valuable experience.
With about 90% of startups bound for failure, getting in on the ground floor of a new business can be daunting. However, if you’re one of the lucky few entrepreneurs who has found success, sharing your advice and story with those who haven’t can be incredibly rewarding — both for them and for you.
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