I believe you need to have an attitude of collaboration, not competition, to succeed in business. It sounds counter-productive, but it’s not. Let me tell you a story.
A few Sundays ago I was a vendor at the Sea Cliff Mini Mart. I wasn’t the only soap business at the event. There were at least 4 of us. Diane from Peace Soap, Melissa from What. The. Soap. and another vendor I won’t name. You’ll understand why in a minute.
I like to meet other soap makers. At the end of the event when I had a lull, I went over to introduce myself to the nameless vendor and tell him how some of the other soap makers on the island place orders together to save money. Once he realized I was another soap maker, he started loudly trashing my soap because it wasn’t shrink wrapped. He said he walked over to my booth earlier to check me out. I explained that my soap is cold process, not melt and pour like his, and it doesn’t sweat in the open air. He was so focused on me being competition, he wouldn’t listen. He continued to trash my soap. I felt sorry for him and walked away.
I like to talk with other soap makers. When we collaborate by placing orders together, we can all save money on per-unit prices and shipping costs. It’s also really great to have friends you can borrow an ingredient from if you run out of something. If I have a customer that wants a particular color or scent of soap, I can easily direct them to someone who does. I’ve gotten more business from other soap makers than I can remember, and I’ve passed on twice as much to them. Today I’m grateful for my Long Island soap maker friends. Running a business is isolating and can get lonely. I’m grateful for their friendship as well as their help in troubleshooting a bad batch of soap.
How do you feel about collaboration and competition?
What are you grateful for this week?
Yours in Gratitude,