When was the last time you met with a “competitor” and discussed opportunities in your industry? For me, it was last week!
Let us take few steps back, and look at humans' nature; competition as an instinct; siblings during childhood compete to please parents, students compete for higher grades, co-workers compete for promotions … etc.
In business, organisations in the same industry compete to achieve better results, do more sales and survive especially in dynamic environments. This is what all businesses are looking to achieve, but the question here is how would you achieve it? In this article, I will give you a secret to expedite the results and scale your business. It looks small but it really has a big effect!
Not only collaboration between industry partners leads to better results for the involved parties, but also the collaboration between “competitors” who offer the same product/service!
Collaboration with competitors
Basically, the chance of having two competitors with the exact same offering is very slim. Think about your competitors; their offering, past experience, staff, clients, certification, awards … etc, are you all identical? Definitely no. You served clients that they didn’t, they have some certifications that you don’t have, you cover certain areas (within the offering that appears to be identical) that they don’t, they have connections that you don’t, and vice versa. Examples are endless!
An example of collaboration between two giant competitors is Samsung and Apple. While Samsung’s Galaxy and Apple’s iPhone are competing for products, Samsung at the same time continues to be one of Apple’s main suppliers (It supplies screens to Apple). Again, examples are endless; Youtube and Vimeo, General Motors and Toyota, and a lot more.
Does this apply to big corporate only?
On the contrary, it is more feasible, easier and more effective for small and medium organisations, who have limited resources of people, money, machines … etc. Go back to the list of questions about the experience, exposure, skills and others. You will find that collaboration is the secret answer to your fast growth.
This is a first-hand experience; in the past few years only, I have collaborated as a person or as an organisation’s leader tens of times. I know you have this question now for me; did they all turn out to be successful? The simple answer is “No”. Let me re-phrase the question here to deliver my point, did I lose anything out of all of them? The simple and straight answer is a big NO. Why is that? In a dynamic world full of innovation, the s
pace of collaboration in order to offer something different is way wider than just thinking classical and being afraid of “competitors” working in the same area.
How about sensitive information?
Each organisation has its sensitive information that it would not share with competitors. Since this is very well understood by both (or all involved) parties, then you don’t need to feel overwhelmed. Jump to your first meeting with your public-available information, that already exists on your website and social media pages. Always try to figure out the possibilities to collaborate, the same way you do with industry partners, who work in the same industry but don’t necessarily have the same offering. Then, take it from there.
What are the characteristics of your collaborators?
This is a topic for another article, that I would address in the upcoming article. Please follow my account to be updated with new content
Collaboration with your “competitors” and industry partners is one of the secret steps towards scaling your business and taking it to the next level.