Most new business owners know the benefit of networking. They understand that it’s important to meet new people in the industry and to get in touch with other companies. After all, you’re all a part of the same industry and it can help to get to know each other–even if you’ll be competing for the same customers.
But what about local businesses? It’s equally important for a retail store, but people don’t understand the true value or purpose of networking with other stores and businesses in your vicinity. So here are a couple of reasons why it pays to network with local businesses around you.
Networking with other stores helps you build a larger network of customers
A huge advantage of networking with businesses around you is to actually reach new customers. This is especially helpful if you don’t compete for the same audience. For instance, if you run an electronics store that sells laptops, then you’re not directly competing with a store that sells smartphones unless you start to offer the same products. Instead, what you can do is start referring people to each other.
Let’s say that someone walks into your laptop store and is happy with a product. However, their smartphone is a little old and they’re also looking to upgrade it. In a situation like this, you could refer them to a local smartphone store. Directing customers to other stores in your network is a great way to assist other business owners, but it also creates a fantastic shopping ecosystem where people feel like they can purchase just about anything in your local area.
You can take this even further by openly collaborating with each other. For example, a bakery could offer coffee products from a nearby roastery. The roastery could also offer coffee and baked goods from the bakery. You could even create a joint loyalty program where customers share the same loyalty card and can get discounts in both stores with a single card. Joining forces like this is a fantastic way to make your business more successful and shouldn’t be avoided, especially if you have a good relationship with them.
Networking with other businesses provides you with more resources and services
Additionally, networking with other local businesses can help you run your store more smoothly. For instance, getting in touch with a local industrial mechanical contractor means that you can quickly fix issues like plumbing without having to wait around too long. Simply give them a phone call and they’ll likely prioritize you because of their relationship with you.
Whether it’s renting business equipment or sharing supplies, it’s important to provide a similar service back to them. Look for ways to help out the businesses within your local community so that you can grow stronger and more stable together.
There are many more reasons to network with local businesses, such as hosting local events together and even sharing with employees when you’re short-staffed. However, we believe that these are perhaps the best reasons to consider networking with local businesses around you.