Monday, 22 February 2010

Build relationships to grow your business

I'm always delighted to introduce business people to others who may be able to help them do something different.

Often, as small business owners, we get so wrapped up in our own "stuff" that we miss the glaring opportunities right in front of us. These opportunities are more than just a simple sale for our product or service but can be strategic alliances or partnerships where the sum of the whole is far greater than the constituent parts.

An example of this followed a recent discussion I had with a theoretical competitor where I can offer a service that she wanted to bring to her clients. By teaming up she is able to promote my product and fill a room for us both to make money.

Had we not created this strategic partnership I would not have run the event, as I wouldn't have made the time to promote it, and she would not have had the opportunity to add my product to her portfolio. In fact she may have had to invest time and money in developing her own product and then build awareness and credibility for it.

In this case two "competitors" are able to promote a new product (for her) to a new market (for me) and everyone wins. She gets to expand her portfolio, I get to expand my client base, and the clients get a new service which adds value to them.

It's easy to get defensive and secretive about our clients, our developing products or services, and how well we are doing in business. It's even easier in fact to sit down with people offering similar products and services and explore the greater opportunity that exists through strategic partnerships.

Moreover, my experience shows by working with someone else, the likelihood is that we are able to deliver a service more quickly to the market place because the partners hold each other accountable and keep their promises to each other!

Look to your "competition" and see what you can find as the greater opportunity...

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