When it comes to supporting small businesses, customers are not the only way in which they can be helped. From local directories to pop-up events, collaboration between SMEs can help everyone in ways that are perhaps less obvious. Collaborations are a way in which you can get some much-needed perspective, particularly during times that are far more emotionally intense. This type of collaboration can help you to elevate your brand, increase revenue and still continue to serve your customers with the same attention to detail you always have. 

The ripple effect of great collaboration is that any business that is successful is far more likely to hire local people and reinvest in its community.

How can you collaborate?

One way in which SMEs can collaborate with each other is by sharing space. This can be as simple as an existing shop renting out a corner to another business whose products complement their own. For example, a delicatessen renting a small space to a bakery, not for baking but for selling their end products. Both businesses can benefit. A customer comes in for some nice cheese or cooked meat and buys some bread to go with it. Both businesses win because the owner of the space gets some rent money, and the baker gets a sale. 

This is a great way for a more established business to collaborate with someone just starting out. 

Teaming up with a business that has more space

If you need more space, then it is often possible to find a business that has too much space and partner up with them to use that space whilst paying for it. This should cost you less than renting a new property. 

Create an incubator

This is a concept that some people might be less familiar with. However, it can be very beneficial for everyone involved. In general, this term refers to a setup whereby the owner of a retail space opens up that space to a group of local businesspeople or entrepreneurs who then host pop-up events in the store. This serves to bring more people into the store, who might buy from the store owner after attending the pop-up, and also educates the clientele of the store on what the pop-up owner has to offer – often a service. 

Socially distanced pop-ups

Too many pop-ups at a time can be rather crowded for a business and have the opposite effect of what might be hoped for. Rather than bringing people in, the crowds may send them away. Having a more socially distanced pop-up where the events are spread over a period of time can work much better for everyone involved and still have the desired effect.

Support through social media

Collaboration on social media is a really easy tool that is at the disposal of every business – as long as they use social media, of course. This can be as simple as making a post on your own social media page promoting another business. This is then reciprocated and opens up each business to a much wider audience.