Let’s be real for a minute: all businesses, both big and small, face competition. Even if their offerings are completely unique, there’s always an alternative out there that consumers can opt for. If not, there will be one day. What you can do and provide can be done and offered by millions of other individuals and businesses.
That said, step number one for any business owner is to understand their competitors. They must know exactly who they are and find out what they’re offering and for what price. Business owners then do one of two things: either make their offerings very similar to their competitors’ or make them unique.
But there’s a third way to deal with rivals: collaborate with them. As ridiculous as it might sound, some of the most successful businesses are involved in collaboration with their biggest competitors.
Here are three possible ways you can turn your competitor into a collaborator.
1. Find ways to complement one another’s companies
Do you have something that your competitor lacks? Maybe they also have something that you lack. Not every company can be the best at what they do nor do they offer everything that all of their competitors offer. Once you find what it is that you can provide for the other company that they can provide for you in return, you can find ways to collaborate.
For example, if you’re selling eco-friendly tumblers, but your company doesn’t have the design skills to make the cups catchy to the eye, maybe you can pair up with a trendy tumbler company that wishes to have eco-friendly products. That way, you can both get the best of both worlds.
2. Engage in cross up-selling
A company can’t always offer everything. Even if they’re able to, something’s got to give. One way or another, something apart of your company is going to crash and burn as you struggle to juggle time, effort, and innovation among all of the things you offer. Cross up-selling is one way that you can, however, technically offer everything your customers need.
For instance, if you manufacture and sell MP3 players, you might cross up-sell headphones from another company that you can sell alongside your MP3 players. That way, you can help the rival get more sales. Meanwhile, you can take advantage of revenue by selling the competitor’s products on their behalf.
3. Merge your businesses into one
It’s easier said than done, but one way to collaborate with a rival is to completely merge your companies together to form one, large business. This is an especially great idea for companies who have very close competition with one another, similar offerings, shared visions, and the same customer base.
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Nobody wants competition.
At the same time, business owners know that competition can keep them motivated to do good and become even better. Having competition also helps make it clear to business owners what the market wants in a product or service and how much they’re willing to pay.
Not to mention, not being the only one offering something, in particular, takes the pressure off a business owner.
Another advantage of competition is the opportunity to collaborate with one another and/or merge companies into one large organization. Many businesses find success in doing so. Following the previous three tips, you can successfully collaborate with another business offering something similar to you.