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Co-opetition: Why cooperating with your competitors is a good idea

I discovered this great new (?) word recently. It means co-operating with your competition.

Most business owners would shudder at the thought of doing this but, if you think about it, most trade associations and professional bodies are in effect doing this.

A great example is K&H and our membership of accountancy networks such as PROBIZ, which has several hundred accountancy firms as members. By pooling all our resources under the guidance of Feisal Nahaboo who runs the network, sponsorship deals have been done with high-profile sports clubs and film production companies. The most prominent is probably West Brom football club, whose stadium is now covered with PROBIZ branding!

This means that we at K&H, even as a very small local firm, can raise our profile and attract more clients nationally in a way that we could never achieve on our own.

Other benefits are the sharing of ideas, collective training and better ‘buying power’ with the various partners that we work with (such as tax planning specialists).

Businesses that can benefit most are those that operate in a narrow niche. This is because other, less specialised companies in the same industry are more willing to refer work across, and will be less fearful of having the clients ‘poached’ for more general work that they do.

How could you benefit from working with your competitors? If you don’t think you could ever benefit in that way, I’d be happy to brainstorm ideas with you, and perhaps prove you wrong!

One Response to “Co-opetition: Why cooperating with your competitors is a good idea”

  1. Andrew Scott says:

    Do not be frightened to refer a client or customer to a specialist in a particular field.

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