Open Your Eyes, Not Everyone Is Competition
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Relative to our bigger neighbours, Australia is a small market. Break that down to automotive businesses in Australia and it gets significantly smaller. Despite our size and customer base the auto industry has proven time and time again that we can lead the way. We are lucky enough to enjoy a wealth of quality products and workshops that are dedicated to delivering world class services.
So why can’t we get along?
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, you are in for a long hard slog if you try and do it alone. Working with other auto businesses is more than just having beers on a Friday arvo. (Although that is a good start!) It is about identifying strengths in another business and working towards a mutually beneficial goal. Co-Branded products are one the most effective ways to promote a product. Co-Branding builds both businesses as well as increasing your potential customer reach. Do you have a product that could be better or sell faster by using another businesses distribution network or production?
Some great examples are the Toyota – Subaru agreement that lead to the production of the 86/BRZ. Two competitor companies that managed to Co-Brand a product with incredible success. We often see it overseas, workshops that will work with parts suppliers for the R&D and the launch of the product. The part supplier gets the product endorsement of the workshop while they in turn throw their marketing and product reach behind that particular workshop.
It can be as simple as finding a business that has a similar target audience but sells a different product.
So rather than always seeing competition, or wondering what could happen if only you had the facilities, bigger reach, or customer base. Get out there, talk to other auto businesses and see what is possible. As long as your brand values align there are plenty of opportunities to advance your business.
So how do you meet new businesses?
Networking can be hard, you have a busy enough schedule as it is. Running a business doesn’t often leave you with a lot of spare time to get out to different events. It is however essential. The old saying “you have to be in it to win it” rings very true when it comes to building valuable business partnerships. The classic notion of having to be at the office 9-5 is now a relic of the past. In order to build your business and your network you need to both create and capitalise on every opportunity that arises. It might be something as easy as being at a local motorsport event, an industry function or simply communicating further with your existing network. Jump at opportunity and learn more about what Australian businesses can achieve together.
Next time you have the opportunity to meet new business contacts, remember these few tips:
• Schedule a meeting – NOW!
Lining up meetings can be difficult, especially over text or email. If you meet someone with whom you’d like to see again, set your next catch up on the same day that you meet. This ensures that you stay on their radar and takes the pressure of yourself to remember to do so after the event.
• Make meetings, not expectations.
It is very rare that you have the opportunity to walk into a meeting knowing exactly what the outcome will be. Do your homework on the business behind the person you’re meeting with and the rest will follow from there.
• Be genuine – no one likes a wanker.
The age of the slick salesman is over, it’s now all about genuine business relationships. If you’re honest about your business and what you stand for then you’re going to be in the ideal position to foster positive business relationships with those you meet.