Far too often, entrepreneurs are taught to “go it alone” and not to effectively utilize resources, especially when those resources are disguised as “competition”. Working together is the fastest, and most effective tool to rapid success, especially in tech startups.
Avoid Gossip & Bad Mouthing The Competition
“If you don’t have anything nice to say – best to say nothing at all” is the mantra many of our moms wisely shared and yet, in business, how quickly we forget when faced with the “competition”. We badmouth or gossip. We slander, even. All in the pursuit of making them look bad and us look good to our clients. It usually works out the other way around.
The fastest way to foster trust in your business is to honor your competition by speaking highly of them and still never wavering on the value, trust, and ability of your own company. Sure, they are great at what they do, but you? You’re better and here’s why. Come from the space of appreciating them and still fostering your own exceptional business.
Clients will respect you for it and your competition likely will as well.
Stand Out Where Your Competition Falls Flat
You are known for something. You do something the “fastest/easiest/cheapest/etc”. Stand out for that. Know exactly what sets you apart in the market place and stand on that hill and own it. Your competition may offer a similar product but their’s isn’t sustainable or is build with inferior technology, is complicated, etc. Wherever your competition falls short… you can become the stand out product/service. Use it to your advantage.
Build Alliances & Networks
Your competition can become your biggest ally and part of your network. Being connected in today’s world allows you to do business differently.
By having a Referral System in place, you reward those in your network for loyalty and their business acumen. Sometimes we can’t meet the market demand solo. Sometimes we need a new system or product that someone else owns. Sometimes we can share resources. Your referral system is your network of support you can rely on to get the job done no matter what.
By Knowledge Sharing, you help yourself and others connect, perform better, and become stronger Professionals. Knowledge sharing can reduce training and education costs, and assist in employee retention and knowledge capturing, should your employees later move on.
At it’s optimal, knowledge sharing is the key to your business longterm growth and success. It’s the key to taking employees from applying their skills to creating based on those skills. When we share knowledge, we awaken a space of deep learning less reliant on the individual and more on the collective that shares that knowledge.
That way, if Tyrell in Research & Development is on vacation, we don’t miss out on his knowledge as it’s shared amongst his teammates. The whole team becomes a knowledge asset to the company and a shared resource.
Limit your skill gaps and have employees knowledge share so everyone grows. Not only does this support the company, but it’s been shown that employees that are growing through knowledge sharing are less likely to walk away from their careers. We love to learn and grow as we feel there’s intention and purpose in ourselves and our careers.
Knowledge Retention is one of the largest fears as we build, grow and scale our businesses. Through knowledge sharing, no matter whom leaves your employment, the knowledge they had, taught and built upon is shared so your continuing employees can continue to build with it without needing to learn and catch up.
Mentorship Takes Many Forms
When we’re looking to grow, build and expand the fastest way to our success is sharing our wisdom, our insight, our connections. It may sound counterintuitive but when we build it together, we all rise.
Here are some other opportunities to connect with entrepreneurs:
* actively participate in social media by making friend requests, posting engaging content and commenting on others posts.
* create a blog to bolster communication about your work and services
* meet other entrepreneurs for virtual or in-person coffee to share valuable experience
* share contacts and referrals openly in your industry
* create presentations, keynotes and courses that are relevant to your business and knowledge share
* share marketing resources, assets and tools as best practices
* talk about startup “teething” and share free/low cost support ideas
* connect your fellow entrepreneurs to mentors and financial supporters
* network. Network. Network.
You can build a business solo but it’s so much easier, cheaper and faster together. Being an entrepreneur and tech startup can be lonely. It doesn’t have to be. Share resources, connect with fellow startups and knowledge share so you both win. That’s the way forward.