“No man is an island,” and although the fear of competition, and the risks involved with sharing trade secrets, may have an entrepreneur a bit apprehensive at times, there is an entire movement of people who believe in prosperity consciousness, and the power of the infinite universe to provide unlimited resources to anyone who asks. Those same people believe karma dictates that those who share will receive. I, for the most part, believe in and try to follow those principles as often as I can. With that said let’s discuss creating strategic alliances and working with others.
In my experience, although one may get burned on occasion by the occasional greedy person, for the most part, there is nothing to fear from working with and helping others to succeed. There is plenty to go around, and givers will gain. Keep your paranoia at bay, as much as possible.
There is going to come a time when you will need the help of someone with more experience than you. And, there is going to come a time when you will need to hire someone to help on a project so that you can close a deal, and get a job, and move your business forward. There will even be people out there who could use your expertise and experience in a certain field. Being afraid to allow or give help will stifle your business more than help you move forward.
It’s a great idea to meet people who can help long before you need them, or they need you. There are many places to meet local professionals to network with and create relationships that will eventually benefit your business.
If you haven’t heard of meetup groups yet, you’re in for a great new resource. There are meetups for all types of interests going on in every city in the U.S. and around the world. It’s the best place to meet like-minded people for future collaboration.
BNI groups are another source of potential partners and business referrals. The meetings are a bit more structured, and business-like, but if that’s your style they should definitely be considered.
And of course, there are the ubiquitous chambers of commerce. A large percentage of local business professionals belong to these groups. There are also business development boards in many cities where top companies and executives meet and share business and resources.
Another great way to promote your business is to create strategic alliances with people who see your type of customer, but who don’t compete. For instance, people who do computer networking for businesses are constantly asked if they can do or know someone who does websites. Think of who shares your clients with, and figure out how to meet them. Don’t try to sell them your services. But do let them know you’d be happy to refer them business. If they need your services they will tell you.
Action Tip: Join a Meetup Group, a BNI Group, and the Chamber of Commerce in your city. Meet people, and network.