This advice from Colin Bates’ BuildingBrands newsletter could be a mantra for small biz survival. Of course, he offers huge business examples, so let’s add some small biz perspective.
“Cooperate on product design.”
Everything you do is your product. How you do it is design. (see Tom Peters) Can you design your product work with someone else’s product, even if one or both are services? Maybe your income-tax service can coordinate with an investment advisor to develop products that are both a good investment and a wise tax strategy.
“Cooperate on product placement and usage.”
Can you offer local brands? Or famous products? What are the leading products that compliment yours? Can you strike a deal to cooperate? We’re looking for more locally-made wines for our store.
“Cooperate to build your industry.”
Can you work together build your entire town or region? Can you connect with others inside your industry but outside your area? We frequently share info with a neighboring liquor store.
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Great ideas Becky! I’m actually putting together a magazine that focus on collaborative business marketing. I’m planning a spring shop local event for Clayton County, GA to encourage businesses to team up for a weekend of special business savings and open houses that will allow them reconnect with residents.
Becky McCray says
We’d love to hear how that works out!
I think those could be a very important strategies for small town businesses. How about local wine, cheeses and artisan breads(made with local wheat, of course)? You could also sell wine glasses, baskets and breadboards, etc. I’m also wondering if it is possible for small stores in different towns in our county to co-operatively order items (such as clothing) and offer inter-store transfers when someone wants a color or size not available in one of the shops. Our town is too small to carry much variety alone. Is that a realistic idea?
Becky McCray says
Lila, I think it would pay off nicely for towns and stores that could manage the transportation. Thanks for sharing a great idea!