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Pay it Forward: Local Businesses Can Help Each Other

The power of small businesses is immense. However, starting a small business is no easy venture. The financial resource Fortunly states that roughly 22 percent of small businesses will fail in their first year of operation. Thirty percent fail because they run out of cash. One of the ways a small business can do better is to utilize the support of other local businesses.
Business owners often conduct market research to identify who their competition is and to determine if there is room in the market for their products or services. It’s just as important for established business owners to keep up with the who’s who in the business community, as doing so can pave the way for collaborative efforts that benefit all local businesses. Here are some ways small business owners can support one another.
Offer reassurance
Simply knowing they are not alone can help a small business owner survive. Owning a business can be stressful, and having another person acknowledge that it’s alright to feel overwhelmed at times can be the spark owners need to press on.
Share opportunities
A business owner who discovers a resource or an opportunity that worked for him or her, or even one that didn’t work but may for another, can pass on the information to another small business owner. It’s not about driving others down, but lifting them up.
Business owners can show support by promoting other businesses in their communities. Make a bulletin board (either in-person or online) of other local business cards to recommend. This exhibits your community spirit and builds camaraderie. Use every opportunity to refer complementary businesses. For example, a local pet shop may recommend a pet groomer or veterinarian.
Organize networking events
Whether it’s done through a local Chamber of Commerce or individual efforts, small business owners can spearhead events that get other business owners together to network and share ideas. These meetings can be informal to help others let off steam at the same time.
Volunteer and donate
Small businesses can meet other business owners, but also become more involved in their communities through volunteer events. Partner with charities or other local businesses to promote philanthropic efforts. School supply giveaways, beach sweeps, community park refurbishments, or even supporting efforts to clean trash from Main Street are great ways to get involved.
Small business owners willing to work together can collectively improve their communities, which should benefit everyone’s bottom line.