As entrepreneurs, we often view other business owners as competitors. We think we need to outperform them, outsmart them and simply outdo them. We need the world to see that we are the best of the best or the cream of the crop.
That mindset can be very flawed, and it has never worked for me. Instead, I have always chosen to come alongside other business owners—especially other women—to share ideas, converse and strategize. By doing this, we all grow and become better versions of ourselves, not only in our businesses, but in our communities as well.
The value of working together, collaborating and partnering with other business owners, especially within your industry. To show that you can come together collectively and serve alongside each other for the betterment of your customers can be huge for the morale of an industry. Become intentional with the mindset that we are not competitors, but are instead a community of business owners serving people can provide priceless benefits. When we make this mindset shift, and we look at each business as a collective and not an individual, we can change people’s lives, which can and will most certainly change our own.
Here are three ways embracing community over competition can benefit your bottom line:
You show integrity.
When you encourage and help aspiring entrepreneurs, it speaks volumes about your character, not only as a person but as a business. It shows you are not only out for yourself, but that you are willing to help and invest in others. In today’s world, that is priceless. People certainly take notice. Never lose sight of how difficult it can be to start a business and find the answers needed to get it off the ground.
Showing genuine integrity by embracing and helping other business owners will set your business apart from. Many consumers today are looking for companies that align with their personal core values. Those companies are the ones that people want to support, whether financially or in other ways. This is just an automatic benefit that comes along with just doing the right thing. The golden rule is golden for a reason, right?
It can help your business.
When you help someone else, you not only provide insight and ideas into their business, but you’re also having an open dialogue around those concepts, resulting in a spark of new ideas and improvements that can be implemented in your own business. Many times, you are so involved in your own business that you miss seemingly obvious improvements. That outside perspective is needed much more than you realize.
It takes you off autopilot.
When business is booming, or even when it’s simply going in the right direction, it’s tempting to keep your head down and do only the bare minimum to keep things consistent. After all, if it’s working, it’s going to be much less work to just sit back and coast. Letting your business run on autopilot is the easy route; however, if we allow ourselves to do that, we are not staying nimble and alert to unforeseen challenges.
When we aren’t actively learning and keeping an open dialogue with other business owners, we leave our own venture vulnerable to changes that might affect our bottom line. In our constant state of learning and staying alert, it’s important to share in the knowledge and expertise that we gain.
Although it may feel like the opposite of what you’ve been told or even what feels natural, there is real power in helping others succeed. As we help others improve and become better, we also become the best version of ourselves.
Embrace the you factor.
No matter how stiff and vast you may feel the competition is within your industry, nobody can take away the you factor. You are what sets your business apart from everyone else. This is your secret sauce that draws people to you, and the same goes for your competitors. Capitalize on that factor and remember that there are more than enough customers for everyone. The world is much bigger than we can truly fathom, and it is full of different cultures, values and personalities. This is what it means to have a growth mindset.
Each customer or client, just like each business, is unique. Although we’ll never appeal to every single person, there is someone else who can fill that void. I have 777,000 Facebook followers, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are still billions of potential customers out there waiting to become part of one of our amazing communities. It is our job to put ourselves out there to find them and reach them.
Brooke Riley is the CEO and Founder of Re-Fabbed, a hybrid DIY decorating, travel and lifestyle blog. She also owns the Re-Fabbed online boutique and offers business coaching to help other entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners grow and maximize their presence in the online space. Re-Fabbed has been featured online in Forbes, Country Living, Huffington Post, House Beautiful, Pioneer Woman, and Good Housekeeping. Connect with Brooke on Facebook @refabbedbybrooke