community + collab over competition

by Jill Dudzinski

community + collab over competition

Today I want to chat about something that is not really talked about in retail business {at least in my world}!

I was recently listening to a podcast and it was discussing this very topic: competition vs. collaboration and I've talked about it with so many other small business owners, but thought I would share on the blog to get your advice and thoughts.

Since starting hello ruby fashion truck, I have come to know different types of business owners. Specifically, I've narrowed it down to three:

1. The supportive business owner. They are open to collaborating and doing pop-ups together.

2. The supportive from afar business owner. They respect your business but aren't interested in collaborating {most likely, due to fear of competition IMO}.

3. The shitty business owner that is NOT supportive and wants you to fail. They suck!

OK now I am going to list each business in each category! HA JK! That's mean. Maybe in my tell-all book I will never write. LOLZ.

Let's start with #1 -- all of the people I surround myself with clearly fit into this category. It's great! Whether they are directly in my circle selling women's clothing + accessories or if they are selling something different that has a different demographic, it's so fun + exciting to collaborate, share stories, share Instagram tips, etc. My opinion is this: If a customer has $20, they are not going to spend it at hello ruby OR another women's boutique. If they like something at both boutiques, they will probably buy both. Also, customers are not loyal to ONLY one boutique. Girls who shop boutiques are just that. They like to find different unique pieces and go to many boutiques to fill their closet with items they love. 

#2 -- This is also fine, but not ideal. I understand other business owners are trying to keep their cards close to their chest and don't want to give their customers to another 'competitor'. I kind of understand it but really think it's dumb. LOL. Your 'competitor' can end up helping you or driving a customer to you if they've never been into your store. This happens OVER AND OVER AND OVER again when I do pop-ups with other boutiques. I see it literally every day where people are like "Oh, I haven't heard of XYZ boutique" and then they start going there, too. And vice versa. Business Owners who are not open to this are hurting their selves IMO.

Then we have #3 -- they suck and that's it. They talk bad about your business because they are hoping it will help their own. In a year of business, I have come across this and you kind of feel bad for them. 

The reason for this post, though, is to think about driving collaboration in Omaha, YOUR COMMUNITY. The more collaboration we have, whether it be pop-up events, meeting for coffee to chat about how you can help each other, supporting others on social media, etc., IT ALL MATTERS. Let's drive our community to be better and supportive to make Omaha a great place. We love Omaha. We are Omaha. Let's work together to create fun events that attract people, not narrow ourselves into a box.

You can relate to this in all areas of your life; school, work and home. You never know who will make it in your life path again, so PLAY NICE! 

I also want to THANK every single business owner that has welcomed me with open arms and have been open to collaborating. I want to give them a loving shout-out because they have made me happy and made my first year in business very meaningful. 

Thanks to:

Jeannie with Ripley and Rue 

Katie with Little Mango

Valerie at Bliss Boutique

Sarah and Megan at Hello Holiday

Katie and crew at Hank and Ax Salon

Omaha Blogger Collective Crew

Bonnie at The Barre Code West Omaha

Katie at Elle Reve

Sarah at Downtown Dogwalking

Marie at 318

Lauren at Salon for Women

Nate at CRAFT Salon

Joe at Ted and Wally's

Kyle at Liv Lounge

Crane Coffee

Phil at Greenslate

Jessica and Maggie at Magnolia Events and Creations

How do you think we can change our #3 business owners? Is there a way to get us all to play in the sandbox?? Let me know what you think and thanks for reading!




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