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Call it whatever you want…


     Call it an incubator,  a co-op, a strategic alliance, shared platforms, networking, whatever you want . . . the bottom line is that the long-term business success effects of this sucky economy and dollar devaluation are going to be measured in terms of how much you can be both a leader AND a team player!

     The US Army teaches  that — among other things — to be a great leader requires also being a great teammate and follower. You can lead your business straight over the cliff by ignoring all other businesses around you and “going for broke,” if you choose a path of arrogance.

     The major difference  between arrogance and self-sufficiency and independence is that the first of these is an attitude. Combining forces with other businesses doesn’t render you helpless. If it does, you’ve selected the wrong business to work with, or you have an attitude problem.

     Combining forces with other businesses  should put your business — and the others — in a position of strength. It means that one business picks up where the other leaves off to the mutual benefit of all involved. Money can be involved, but it doesn’t always have to be. Ego is almost always involved; don’t let it be. Self-importance loses wars, and crushes business ventures!

     A Two-Way WIN-WIN:  I work with a bright young business that specializes in Internet marketing (website design and services, email and SEO programs, etc.). We combined website development interests because that firm’s strengths were tech-driven and mine were content-driven. We share responsibilities on work generated and produce a better, more complete product by focusing on what we do best.

     A Three-Way WIN-WIN-WIN:  A local liquor store and area deli have combined forces at a local fire department to raise money for an area charity by paying the fire department space rental and soliciting donations for admission to a “Giant Wine & Cheese Tasting Festival” that includes vendor donations of wine and cheese from a couple of dozen manufacturers and distributors who supply the two stores. Actually, if you think about it, this is like a 30-Way WIN situation.

     Can your business share  a workspace? A receptionist? A display area? A parking lot? A truck or delivery service? A database? Utilities? Cleaning services? Expertise? Research? Resources? Sales teams? Payroll services? Meeting rooms? Advertising media expenses? THINK about it!

     The next chapter in American business  will revolve around ways to economize even more than you are right now. The challenge will be to make the most of every resource, including those of neighboring or allied businesses. OPEN MINDS OPEN DOORS.   

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