Collaboration vs Competition

Many of us grew up in a time when we had to consult the Yellow Pages (a huge book that was delivered to your door) to decide which company to use for a service or a product. We also grew up in a time, prior to social media, where word-of-mouth was the most effective and primary way many of us decided whether to purchase services or products, or where to purchase products and services.  The world has changed.


Enter Social Media - The Game Changer

A recent study by Deloitte found that 47% of millennials say their purchase decisions are influenced by social media. For perspective, the figure is 19% across all other age groups.  As Baby Boomers and Generation X get more acclimated to social media, and as millennials and generation Z begin dominating the workforce, these numbers are only likely to skyrocket. Businesses of all sizes will make a huge mistake not to adapt now and harness the power of social media to build brand awareness, enhance SEO, and to collaborate with other businesses sharing a similar client base -- even those viewed as competitors. 


Competing NOT Competition is Bad for Business


In nearby Atlanta in 2012, many realized that jobless rates were far too high, economic output was down, and business activity had atrophied.  As a result, a diverse group of local leaders — private, public, philanthropic, and nonprofit — fed up with the dysfunction around them, came together to challenge conventional wisdom to fix problems long written off as unsolvable, such as poverty, unemployment, and a failing education system. And— against all local custom and odds — ten counties and the business community came together to promote a historic $8 billion bond issuance and regional tax increase to address unemployment and economic stagnation.


Had business owners tried to compete over the current market, new residents and businesses wouldn't be added to the marketplace, the $8 billion bond wouldn't have been issued, and the community would have likely crumbled under the weight of chronic poverty.  This example, among many others, shows that collaborating together for the benefit of the community is far more effective, and economically advantageous, than competing with each other at all costs. However, once everone collaborates to ensrue the community is economically thriving, healthy competition itself then results in higher quality, better service, and lower prices for members of the community.


What Are The Takeaways?

We are bombarded daily with evidence of our nation’s inability to solve mounting problems, such as failing education systems, failing infrastructure, and the ever growing national debt. As a local community, we may not be able to influence national problems, but we certainly can be a shining example of how small businesses, even those in competition, can work together to build the local economy, enhance infrastructure, build quality schools, and ensure everyone prospers.  As the old saying goes, "a rising tide lifts all ships." 

Craig Reynolds is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Cardinal Communications, Chief Creative Officer of the Feel You App, Community Ambassador for W.L.J Angel Gowns and proud parent of Cardinal Communications' Pooch Ambassador to Small Business, Rudy.   Contact Us to learn how we can help your small business or non-profit grow and succeed!

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