How to collaborate with other SMEs during lockdown
Why is it so important to try and collaborate with other SMEs? With the current situation affecting small businesses in different ways, many are facing hard times as they are seeing reduced numbers of customers. They are having to deal with the knock on effect to the way they operate their business. With around 5.9m SMEs operating in the UK, this means you are not alone.
While your business may not be able to fully operate as normal, there are ways to help support your business and other SMEs through this period. Try to turn a negative into a positive and find new ways to reach your audience.
During the lockdown we have been encouraged to support our local community. So why not find ways to collaborate with other SMEs and help us get through this together. Here are some suggestions to help you find a way to collaborate with another SME:
Support each other.
Do you work with another company or service that compliments or supports the supply chain of your business? Why not look at how you can support each other. You might not have a member of staff that you have no work for, but they might be the perfect person to help another SME in your supply chain.
You might be able to support another business or charity during lockdown by offering an extra pair of hands. There are a lot of charities that need extra support delivering their goods/services to the vulnerable. Can you offer a helping hand with some of your staff and that van that is currently sitting idle. Find out who needs help and see if you are suited to their needs, there are lots of people that need help.
Why not look at a collaboration on advertising, by sharing the costs you can help to reduce your expenses. But still let people know you are there and open for business. Finding a business that compliments yours, you will be helping to support not only another SME but your customers too by providing what they need in one advertisement. You will also be supporting other supply chains, providing work for local magazines and their printing suppliers.
Be aware of how other local businesses are operating, you might be able to refer customers to them if it is a service you don’t or can no longer offer. People will remember your support throughout this period and this can help build future relationships. A customer will also recognise your kindness in helping to find what they are looking for and they will no doubt come back to you in the future.
We could all do with a bit of fun during lockdown, you could do something simple on social media. Why not get all your staff involved in a bake off, best home hair cut or best store cupboard recipe creation.
Or you can support another business by running a competition with your audience to win something from their business. Supporting each other by sharing your followers on social media, you can provide that extra boost they need whilst they cannot afford to be spending out on paid advertising on social platforms.
At First Rate PA we have decided to run a competition to help support local business Harrie’s Coffee. We are all missing those coffee breaks and catch ups at work with our colleagues, so why not make those virtual meetings taste better with Harrie’s Coffee. Find out more about our competition on our Facebook page.