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Local business coalition 101: build better businesses in community

We have often heard the quote “It takes a village to raise a child” but the same can be said about a successful business. Even though many entrepreneurs believe and have been taught that they should build a successful enterprise on their own. It is not possible. Even the great entrepreneurs have mentors, fellow business associates and others who have been with them on the way to success. So, how do you build a coalition which builds better businesses in your area?

STEP 1: Decide on the vision

Why do you want to create the coalition? Is it to help invest in the community where your business operates or is it to pool the resources of local businesses together to help increase sales? By writing down your vision for the coalition you will be able to articulate why you want people to join you.

STEP 2: Share your vision with your community

Invite businesses and the leaders to a meeting where you outline your vision and request their participation in the coalition. You can also highlight how you will benefit the community and your fellow businesses.

STEP 3: Promote your businesses

You could run promotions which benefit both businesses. For example, if you are a coffee shop and there is a local salon in your area, you could give the regular salon visitor a voucher for a free cappuccino, or the coffee shop could offer their regulars a discount voucher for the salon. It is important when deciding to run these cross promotions that you focus on a business that complements yours.

STEP 4: Host networking events

A lot of business can happen when you host networking events. These events should focus on assisting companies to deal with common entrepreneurial challenges. You should also try to limit the sales talk when networking at these events as it can get tedious. Rather focus on getting to know the people behind the businesses in your community and maybe through collaboration you can help one another.

STEP 5: Change your mindset

When building a coalition, you need to look at how you can boost your business and others collaboratively. Rather than view them as competition, we need to see how the companies in your local area can work together to create an industrious area.

By taking this fives steps, you can create a commercial environment that not only encourages trade to thrive but also helps the communities which surround them to build a sustainable living environment for everyone.

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