Building Teams and Alliances

How many of us as small business owners and entrepreneurs work alone- by ourselves, sometimes for what might seem like twenty-four hours a day? I know sometimes it used to feel that way to me. It comes with the territory I guess. Many of us break away from our jobs to start something new, and suddenly we are on our own. We leave contacts and work colleagues behind, move into the spare room or basement for our first office, and poof, there we are. Alone.

Last week we spoke about seeking the help, advices and services of experts to make sure that our businesses were successful. However, often we still stand alone as a business, trying to get contracts, sell products, and convince others we can do everything that relates to our business. And much to our own detriment, many of us see people who provide similar products and services as us as competition,.


In the last several years I have made a point of introducing people who see each other as competitors to each other, in hopes that they see that they could form an alliance. What many of them do not see at first is that when they are competing against each other, they are not moving their businesses forward. In fact they are often in a negative state, cutting prices, adding services and trying to outbid the other. I have seen them critique each other’s work and point out each others short comings. This is no way to build a business.

For one thing, it sets us in a negative mindset, and surrounds us with negative energy. I know some may find it hard to believe but there is enough business to go around! If you understand the principle of abundance you will know that there is always enough for everyone, that we just need to claim it. Setting ourselves in a positive state will position us for more business.

A good example is ‘Printer A’ who offers similar services as ‘Printer B’. They could constantly compete, or they could take each other for coffee regularly and form an alliance.

Forming an alliance does not mean giving your business away. However, if you both recognize that you are on the same team, servicing the same market, you can agree to help each other. Buying complimentary equipment is one way, and helping with a ‘big’ contract is another. When one is very busy and having difficulty with a deadline, perhaps they could subcontract the other to help get the work done and vice versa. In this way, both can take on bigger, more lucrative projects, knowing that they can get help from the other. This will most certainly grow each of their businesses.

Another sort of alliance that you could form is with a similar industry. Recently, three Roaring Women, a Mortgage broker, a Home Stager and a Financial Adviser joined forces and put on an evening information session called ‘Secrets to Home Cents’. Each one of these businesses was able to showcase their services and provide inter-related tips for home owners concerning their money and their homes. Not only did all three ‘win’ but so did the clients who attended, as did Habitat for Humanity who benefited from 100% of the entrance fees charged.

Joining a networking club, or attending a business social can assist you in meeting people you can form alliances with. I attend a networking club during the week for lunch, and it is amazing to see the alliances formed after the meeting, to help increase the visibility and income of the businesses involved. Senior Care and a Counsellor. A Promoter and a Promotional Accessories business. A Financial Advisor and a Chef. A Realtor and a Mortgage Broker. A writer and a web designer. These are all perfect examples of alliances.

Think about the people you know, and the businesses that they have. Are there any common denominators? Think outside the box. Do you target similar markets? How can you benefit your market by forming an alliance with another business.

Finally by forming an alliance, you now have access to a much larger data base. Each of you can now communicate with each other’s clientele. And so your contacts do not just double, the list will grow exponentially. So stop thinking competition, and think co-opertition. Form an alliance!

"One of the keys to effective communication and dispute resolution is understanding ourselves and how we think and also understanding how others are wired as well. Each of us has personality styles that are unique to ourselves - however there are also patterns as well. When you understand the differing personality styles and their blends - you begin to see people as they are with more understanding! For more information on understanding personality styles please contact Mandie at"

Why not take a few minutes to browse our membership base and see if one of our members is interested in forming an alliance with you!See our Members Here: " Like this article? Sign up here:JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER list that offers more of these tips, coupons, inspiration and education that will help you propel your business to the next level! "


Mandie Crawford is a marketing expert, business coach, trainer and motivational speaker who was recently awarded Calgary Business Woman of the Year for her contributions to the business community.

Mandie also has skills and expertise in providing high quality guidance in time management and system implementation for small a medium sized businesses. Her passion as a business and professional development coach is to helps women recognize their value and self worth.

She is the Preside...

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