Winning Together: How Supporting Other Businesses Can Help You Win

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activity of your business that it’s difficult to take a step back and see larger opportunities. Your biggest areas for growth may be outside the scope of just doing your regular business. The biggest and most successful businesses always find ways to collaborate in meaningful ways with other businesses in their industry to provide more value to their customers. If brands like Coca-Cola, Amazon, Nike, and Apple regularly roll out new brand partnerships, it’s probably a good idea for you to think about ways your business could benefit from more collaboration with people that can help you support your existing book of business.

After filing as a corporation, here are some out-of-the-box ideas for kickstarting relationships and new business in your local community or online audiences!

1: Sharing Referrals

A little love goes a long way. Sending referrals to another business that helps your same kind of customer shows that you want other people to win too! Most businesses are pretty content to only focus on helping themselves, so immediately you start setting yourself apart from the rest of your competitors.

If you own a video production company, you may want to consider referring your clients to a paid media agency as a gesture of goodwill. If you own a local plumbing company, find some local trustworthy electricians that you can send business too when your clients ask about electrical help.

Usually, there are plenty of ways other businesses can help your customers, and if your customers have a good experience there, they’re also more likely to trust you with their business again in the future because they now view you as a connector!

2: Brainstorming/Swapping Ideas

Do you avoid talking to your competition? Or even being in the same room as them? You may want to rethink this if you want to learn and grow your business faster.

The reality is, there is way too much business out there to think that any one of your competitors is a major threat to your business. And collaborating with them to talk about how all of you can serve your customers better usually gives you plenty of ideas for how to do business better.

Attend industry conferences, go to events with other business owners in your field, hop on coaching calls with other people in your industry, learn, collaborate, and share ideas. You’d be surprised how much you might be missing out on by thinking that you have it all figured out. The more you learn about your industry and how to operate your business, the more you’ll usually find opportunities that you never thought of. Pretending that you know it all is usually the fastest way to kill new potential for your business.

3: Engaging With Each Other’s Social Media Content

Have you ever thought, “I wish more people in my community liked, commented on, or shared my business social content”?

Well maybe the best way to encourage other businesses to do this for you is to do it for their posts first! Keep a list of other local businesses or businesses in your industry that are strategically worth supporting and celebrate their content! Like their posts, leave a thoughtful comment, and share some of their coolest posts even if it’s just to your personal accounts. There are a lot of businesses out there that would be a lot more receptive to working with you if you made a simple gesture like this.

The point of social media is for it to be “social”. Posting content for your business is only part of a well-rounded social media strategy. As a rule of thumb, try to like or comment on at least 5 posts a day from other businesses that might want to do business with you. This can be on whatever platform you use the most personally, but if you’re feeling ambitious you can leave 5 likes or comments per social media channel! (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter/X, etc.)

If you are not engaging with other business content on social media, you’re just like the vast majority of other businesses that post when they can and expect everyone to like what they’r putting out without doing the same.

A little goes a long way to setting yourself apart and helping people see that you are cheering on their businesses too!

4: Events

A great way to show “thought-leadership” in your industry is to put on in-person or online events to educate your ideal customers or provide value to them in some other way. And the best way to do that is to partner with other businesses that provide supporting value to the people you’re trying to get in front of.

If you’re a local business, consider throwing a grand-reopening party with your next door neighbor businesses or turn it into a holiday block party! If you’re an online business, consider hosting a webinar with a couple other leaders in your industry to talk about a topic that’s relevant to your ideal customers.

You can use tools like Facebook Events, LinkedIn Events, and Eventbrite to promote these events for free, send social invites, and email information about the opportunity to people on your subscriber list!

There are plenty of other ways you can support other businesses and encourage them to send support and referrals back, but most businesses miss out on a lot of opportunities because they don’t have a plan in place, or they only implement any of these strategies right after they see a GaryVee video before going back to their normal business operations.

In your business goal-setting, make it a part of your monthly planning to start implementing these ideas if you aren’t already. And if you’re already referral-sharing, brainstorming with other business owners, engaging with social content and planning events, good for you! Keep up the great work and keep doing more of what you’re doing.

There are always ways to grow and keep improving on any of these strategies to make your business more competitive in the market.