One of the good things to come out of this economic downturn is the out-of-the-box thinking in solving strategic problems as both individuals and small businesses. This has inevitably given rise to unlikely strategic partnerships. You may wonder “what I mean by this?” and let us take a few minutes to explore it through examples.
When was the last time you or someone you knew went to the dentist and did not have the hundreds of dollars to pay for services on the spot? Try asking the dentist for a payment plan without any finance charges and you will be surprised. That is what happened when a patient presented the strategic problem of credit card charges and interest if the bill was paid in full. To everyone’s surprise the dentist office offered a payment plan at a monthly installment that was affordable to the patient. Who would have thought that a dentist-patient strategic partnership could create a win-win financial outcome where the dentist received full payment over time and the patient had the length of time to pay without running up debt? I last heard the dentist and patient discussing payment for services by way of delicious meals and the option was on the table.
When was the last time your small business needed a service from another business but did not have the finances to pay for it? Next time, try offering your services in return and see what happens…. I know of 2 very recent events involving the same small business. A non-profit and a veteran owned start-up needed strategic planning assistance and the consulting business provided the necessary services without even a contractual agreement. The business and personal relationship bonds that have been built as this successful strategic partnership has taken shape have resulted in 3 unlikely small businesses coming together and the growth opening up opportunities starting with accounting and legal professional services within that local community. The non-profit is promoting the strategic partner’s business and the start-up is retaining the services of the strategic partner thus building off of the initial momentum.
If we care to stop and think, build relationships, and focus on the hundreds of ways we share mutual interests we can transcend our minor differences and help our own community succeed. When we make this a habit, we become part of the wave that causes the rising tide to lift everyone around us proving once again that one can do well by doing good!
** Do you have a similar story to share that is both uplifting and affirming of what is wonderfully alive in our own communities? Please share it here and help others learn from your experiences or connect with you to keep the tide rising. **