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June 27, 2012

Help Thy Small Business Neighbor

helping other entrepreneursThis seems like a good followup to yesterday’s article.  If you’re going to be willing to ask questions then you also have to be willing  to help your small business neighbor.  This should be one of the commandants of starting a small business.  Sort of how doctors are required to take an oath that they will do no harm, small business entrepreneurs should pledge that they will help other entrepreneurs.  So take a moment, raise your hand, and take the pledge…I’ll wait….

This idea crystallized for me during a conversation I was having with another small food entrepreneur.  She mentioned how impressed she was with how willing entrepreneurs were willing to share information with one another.  Even people who, technically, are direct competitors to one another seem – for the most part – open to sharing information.  Where’s the best place to buy GMO-free milk for your ice cream?  Anyone have experience with a good bookkeeper?  Looking for recommendations on which farmer’s markets might be best?  Having a strong community of entrepreneurs around you is invaluable.

The key to creating that strong community though is that you have to give as much as you take and if everyone does that then you’ve got a plethora of resources and experience at your fingertips.  Even if someone is your direct competitor don’t you think you have more to gain from helping them out than shutting them out?  As the food entrepreneur I was talking with told me “it’s like the ‘rising tide carries all boats concept.’  If we all work together we’ll all prosper and our customers will come to expect local, handcrafted products.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

As always, the goal of this site is to be one such small business resource so please don’t hesitate to ask questions, add your comments and thoughts, and share ideas via this site, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or just plain ol’ email (info (at) smallfoodbiz (dot) com).

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