With the impact of COVID-19 affecting businesses and communities across Australia now more than ever, we are being reminded of just how important it is to help each other. If you are a small business owner, connecting with other businesses helps to build mutually beneficial relationships, boosts the local economy and may be the answer to weathering the storm during these uncertain times.
Here are some ways that you can support and learn from other small businesses.
Even when the world is not in the midst of a pandemic, running a business can be tough. Whether it’s trying to survive the current crisis, deal with a new product launch that didn't go as well as expected, or dealing with some damaging customer feedback, it’s important to stay motivated. Offering and receiving emotional support and a non-judgemental platform for sharing challenges – whether on social media, within the community or your local business chamber – helps small businesses stay focussed when times are hard. And in the good times, these relationships are invaluable when it comes to celebrating your successes.
Taking emotional support one step further, you may be able to find someone within your network who can act as a mentor to help your business grow. Beyond offering advice, knowledge and insights gained from their own experience, a good mentor will also be able to help you enhance your offering, develop your professional skills, and help you build a broader network.
Sharing local knowledge and expertise
Chances are many small businesses in your area won't offer the same products or services as you. So, building a strong support network with other businesses helps you tap into a broad range of expertise and local knowledge. Networking amongst fellow small businesses can open the doors to finding new customers and suppliers, help you stay on top of trends and industry updates, and even identify new business opportunities.
Talking to other businesses can also help you understand where there may be opportunities to collaborate on new ideas, explore synergies and create partnerships to give you access to new customers, products or markets. Look out for other businesses that have resources you can leverage for a ‘win-win’. Is there a potential partner to help sell your product or service to their customer base? What could you offer them in exchange? Is there an opportunity to package or bundle your products together?
Social media support
Tagging, commenting and sharing on social media channels (such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) are extremely helpful in building customer awareness across brands and businesses. By engaging in thought leadership discussions in your industry, or sharing your images and posts on your own social media pages, other businesses are sharing information about your business with their followers who may take an interest in what you are offering and vice versa. Following, liking and interacting with businesses in your network on social media and asking them to return the favour is a great way to build more awareness about your business and create potential leads.
Contact us to find out more about how BOQ Business can support your small business.