In late 2017, a new political party called Small Business Matters was doing its best…
Why Small Businesses Need to Huddle
We don’t have to go much further than the leaders of our country to find the perfect example of how in-fighting and personal agendas, detract from the real issues.
While the backroom arm-wrestling goes on, children remain imprisoned on Nauru, farmers are struggling through another day, and millions of Australians are wondering when our leaders will focus on what they’re paid for.
Sadly, Small Businesses aren’t immune from the same types of in-fighting. It may not be breaking news, but Small Businesses now, more than ever, need to band together if we’re to be effective against our common enemies.
THE REAL BATTLE.
These are five enemies all Small Business owners face (and I’m sure you could add a few more to the list):
1. The powers that be.
Sometimes it feels like Government at every level is conspiring to make life difficult for Small Business owners. Just when we get our heads around one set of obligations, a new one appears. And while some of the red tape is truly necessary to improve business standards, some just creates more hoops to jump through. It’s the hoop-jumping we need less of, and if we stick together and make some noise, we have a better chance of achieving that.
No matter how loved we are by our clients; it’s not always easy to get their attention when we need it. I’ve seen businesses with a huge social media following have very little customer engagement. And who understands this more than fellow business owners? The human race is busy and spoilt with choices, but what if Small Businesses started to engage more with one another? What if we introduced another business to our network and supported them in whatever way we could?
Competition is necessary, but let’s keep it in perspective. Businesses with a true niche should be able to support other businesses in the same industry. If we’re good at what we do, we needn’t be threatened by other players entering the field. Identify the differences and support who you can. It’s a big pie we each want a piece of, and it’s important to remember that other Small Businesses aren’t necessarily our main competitors.
4. Big business.
Despite the important role of Small Business to our national economy and our local communities, we still live in the shadow of big business. It’s usually more convenient and often cheaper to buy from the big chains, so getting the message out there to ‘buy local and support Small Business’ is something we need to take on as a group effort.
This is perhaps our worst enemy because any resources we spend either move us closer to our goals or further from them. None of us went into business to bicker amongst ourselves. Remaining focused on what we want to achieve, and helping others do the same, makes us better people and inches us closer to the things we set out to accomplish.
THE POWER OF THE HUDDLE.
There is something about a huddled group of people that makes it impossible to remain self-absorbed. The physical reality of having a person on either side of you is a reminder that:
- You’re not alone – There is a wonderful comfort in knowing that others understand and support us when it’s needed.
- We all face battles at one time or another – And it’s that combined experience that helps everyone through the challenging times.
- There’s strength in a united front – The circular form of a huddle, represents solidarity, strength and support; everything we need to be for one another.
Now, nothing beats a real-life in-the-flesh huddle, but we can still achieve similar outcomes ‘virtually’.
Through small groups and general online communication, we can support other Small Businesses and work toward common goals. If geography allows, drop in and say, “Hello.” Take some friends and introduce them to a new local business or just share one another’s posts and key links across social media as often as possible.
Factions and in-fighting are not our core business, and so much more can be achieved by working together. Gather other Small Businesses closely alongside, and let’s support one another.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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