Competitors are partnerships

Entrepreneurship is often portrayed as a medium to market domination and overtaking your competitors.

But if we take a closer look at the global consumer market, we’ll quickly find out a myriad of contradictory arguments.

Ray-Ban, Chanel, Prada sunglasses are all made by the same brand. Fast food chains owned by PepsiCo serve Coca-Cola drinks in dozens of markets.

Instead of focusing your energy on combating other businesses in your industry, here’s why partnering up with your competitors can bring additional benefits to you and your team.

1. Business Masterminds

Teaming up with other business owners and executives in your professional network can be a rewarding experience across different fields of business management.

I meet monthly with a reputable agency owner in my field of work. As a result, we grow together by sharing invaluable strategies on team management, recruitment, lead generation, inbound marketing, productivity (to name a few).

Business owners often feel lonely in their venture of running a profitable business while maintaining the admirable quality of work their teams deserve.

Meeting with other industry leaders as a “reality check” can strengthen your own beliefs and increase productivity without harming your day-to-day work.

2. Additional Qualification

Every business specializes in smaller segments within their industry. Expanding your understanding of the global landscape and its corresponding specifics is an invaluable trait we should all strive for.

Are your competitors running training webinars or courses for recruitment or brand recognition purposes? Consider signing up some of your team members.

Reach out directly to arrange in-house training for your staff. There’s hardly anyone who understands your target market and their pain points better than your direct competitors.

If you are afraid that your staff may jump ship, don’t. Your organization’s culture and job growth opportunities are what keeps people around.

3. Collaboration Opportunities

Instead of competing directly and running separate campaigns only to fund Facebook’s bank accounts, consider the possible opportunities to run initiatives alongside your competitors.

  • Organize webinars together and cross-promote them across your network.
  • Attend a meetup group and talk separately about the challenges you face and how you combat them.
  • Run a live Q&A video in a panel format to present different perspectives on the same matter

We have partnered up with other agency owners for collaborative content development, conference talks, and even pitching together for the same deals. A quid pro quo arrangement may benefit both parties in the long run.

4. Defining The Market Standards

Every industry struggles with well-known problems that can’t be solved by themselves.

Dozens of entrepreneurship and small business organizations exist for the sole reason of providing a common digital (or physical) workplace for business owners to discuss industry problems and agree on standards that benefit the entire ecosystem.

Marketers, technologists, accountants, lawyers, realtors are known to participate in large global communities shaping the future landscape of their industries.

Partnering up with your competitors will only make you stronger.

5. Innovating Together

From radio to television through the internet to podcasts and video streaming services, the digital world would not exist without innovation.

But launching a new market category is extremely expensive. Isolating a business problem and educating the target audience on emerging opportunities often takes years and tens of millions of dollars to kick in successfully.

Strategic business partnerships can act similarly to press embargo: the media agreement of publishing the same news story to multiple publishers at the same time. Launching new products or pricing plans, innovative ways to provide additional benefits to your clientele, enforcing remote working in your industry can emerge quickly with sufficient adoption across leading vendors in your industry.

Stop measuring yourself against your competition. Instead, befriend them, and focus your efforts on innovation, building a strong team and a healthy culture, increasing your qualification and providing the best products or services to your target market.