It's easy to view business like a competition. But we need to change our thinking from seeing a finite amount of customers from whom we want to gain the largest possible share of their finite amount of spending capacity. Instead, we need to view our competitors in business as collaborative partners, who work together for the common good of all customers and the communities in which they live. As colleagues, companies share business services and resources. The business owners are a mini-community inside the broader, geographical community.
“A good team, like a good show, comes into being when the separate individuals working together create, in essence, another separate higher entity - the team - the show - which is better than any of those individuals can ever be on their own.” -- Gary David Goldberg
3 Ways You Benefit by Viewing Food Business Competition as Community
As part of our business services, OAFVC hosts networking events, which take the format of informal meet-and-greet nights where you will meet other entrepreneurs and those in the food industry, enabling you to learn about their products and their successes.
When you choose to collaborate rather than compete you open your business up to their customers, which expands your customer base, and provides the opportunity to create new products to meet the needs of this new audience. Perhaps it is adding your craft beer to another company’s BBQ sauce. Or combining your apples with another farm’s squash to create an artisan soup. And don’t stop with products, combine events and marketing efforts too!
Whatever you are going through, it is encouraging to know someone else who has been there first. That is true in life and in food business competition. When we open ourselves to receive support from others who are experiencing, or have already experienced, similar circumstances and have come out the other side, we can save time and energy by learning from their experiences.
How to Collaborate with Your Food Business Competition
In short, to collaborate instead of compete with other food businesses you need to:
- Find the right people
- Create an equal, honest partnership
- Specify the financial implications
- Pull your weight - give back to the group
- Give word of mouth support to the venture
You want people to understand what their individual strengths are so they can pool those strengths and move toward a common vision. Forbes
Collaboration Helps Avoid These 3 Roadblocks to Food Business Expansion