Tweak Your Biz » Growth » Competition Versus Collaboration

Competition Versus Collaboration



The word “competition” conjures up an unforgiving testing concept where there can be only one winner and everyone else involved is a loser.

“Competition” applied to a business setting creates a similar negative impression and is a view that tends to forget running a business is about servicing and meeting customers’ needs and not about your business being the best player in the field.

Collaboration on the other hand – defined as joint working arrangements towards reaching a common goal – points instead towards a maturity in business owners who recognise that the customer is at the centre of the equation and business success can only be determined via customer satisfaction and not by profit margins.

I believe that collaborative working arrangements, amongst small businesses in particular, is the way forward.   As most small businesses owners are either sole traders or have employees of less than 10 individuals; on their own, there is no way small business owners are in a position to meet all their customers’ needs.

By hooking up and forming alliances, small businesses can put themselves in a better position towards meeting their customers’ needs.  Also, instead of the exhausting work of continually assessing and attempting to differentiate themselves from their competitors; working arrangements are mutually beneficial, they foster a culture of trust and open communication.

Of course, despite all the good work being done in promoting collaborative working activities (I’ve noticed there are a number of great articles on this same subject here in Bloggertone already) not all individuals or business owners are ready for such an adjustment in focus.  Therefore one has to be wise when making their choice with regard to who to conduct joint working arrangements with or not.  It will be only be beneficial to both parties if done so with like-minded individuals as any immaturity or insecurity on either site of the arrangement could have dire consequences.

 



The Author:

Patricia McGovern www.vopam.com has an extensive and interesting portfolio of international work experience. She is in a position where she can now share her expertise and business acumen with her client base and is currently providing a specialised service to SME's and entrepreneurs to help them grow their business. http://www.vopam.com

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  • http://twitter.com/fredchannel Fred

    Good post Patrica. Welcome to Bloggertone! I’m reading at the moment a book from @garyvee called “The Thank You Economy” http://amzn.to/fiPmZL . The first pages focus on a few of the points you mention in the post.nAt Channelship, we also made the mistake of watching the competition too much at the beginning but since we switched that back in 2009, we feel we have a lot more free space for growth.

  • http://twitter.com/fredchannel Fred

    Good post Patrica. Welcome to Bloggertone! I’m reading at the moment a book from @garyvee called “The Thank You Economy” http://amzn.to/fiPmZL . The first pages focus on a few of the points you mention in the post.nAt Channelship, we also made the mistake of watching the competition too much at the beginning but since we switched that back in 2009, we feel we have a lot more free space for growth.

  • Facundo

    Welcome to Bloggertone Patricia! Your post examines a very interesting trend and a big opportunity for small businesses. I read a book last year called “Competing in a flat world” where the authors examine the role of an “orchestrator”, someone that puts resources (people) together to meet customer needs. Indeed a very interesting read also on how to provide services with resources that you don’t necessarilly own http://www.competinginaflatworld.net/

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Hi Patricia, Welcome to Bloggertone! I’m a big believer in collaboration being the new competition for small businesses in particular. I’ve begin to experience this myself to a large degree in the last 24 months. Social media is a great tool in this regard, because it acts like a lighthouse to like minded businesses and individuals. Because I have developed my online profile, I am now regularly contacted by others and asked to work on projects with others.

  • http://frugalentreprenuer.com/ Adam Gottlieb

    Welcome, Patricia!nnYou bring up some very good points… However, since most people go into business to make money, it may be very hard for them to be of the opinion that “…business success can only be determined via customer satisfaction and not by profit margins.”nnIn truth, collaboration and competition are not mutually exclusive. Collaboration is a vital business tool precisely because it makes those businesses that rely on it, more *competitive.* In other words, the collective knowledge, expertise, and resources gives the businesses that know how to use them, a leg up on their competition. nnSo too, for that matter the idea of “open communication” and “building trust”- they are fast becoming standard business strategies (by the businesses who are smart enough to realize what’s happening) based on trying to maximize profits, and not on the actual value of their customers. nnAdam

  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

    Hi Patricia, nnInteresting post as I’m writing a white paper for a client on document collaboration. nnOne way I see this working is when two (or more) firms have skills that compliment each other u2013 not compete u2013 and can use these to land bigger projects. nnA simple example would be a web design company linking up with a software house. Each can focus on their respective areas and use these larger set of skills to win contracts which they’d be unlikely to win on their own.

  • http://www.sharonhearty.com Sharon

    Patricia, this is the way of the future and is being done to varying degrees in other parts of the globe really well. I personally really like the mastermind concept of working together in a group of likeminded individuals but who bring a wealth of divergence and successful experiences to the table, this is a great tool for the micro business owner. I agree with Niall that when you raise your head above the parapet, so to speak, in varying ways; social media being one of them, one attracts other like minded people and then the spin offs for idea creation are endless. Great thought provoking post.

  • Patricia

    Hey folks, first a big thank you for the warm welcome to ‘bloggertone’ & taking the time to share and comment on my post – delighted & honoured to be on here!nnAlso, thrilled from your sharings that my post appears to mirror a global shift in thought already happening – spurned on by the power of Social Media no doubt! Looking forward to learning, sharing and communicating with you all more …nnPatricia

  • LootersSuck

    Looter

  • Tina – Compare Hero

    Thank you so much for the opportunity Sian. And yes, you are right it is risky so one must really think twice before investing, also they should be financially secured so whatever happens to the investment they still have something to hold on and start with.