Small businesses collaborate with competitors

The key to helping business growth could be working with competitors, according to a survey of UK small and medium-sized enterprises.

Working with, rather than against, companies in the same industry or location is more important to business fortunes in the next 12 months than a resolution to the Eurozone crisis, according to a survey commissioned by online food delivery service Just Eat.

Some 30 per cent of UK SMEs say that working with competitors would help their business grow most in the next 12 months, compared to just over a fifth (21 per cent) who feel that a resolution to the Eurozone crisis would help.

The survey also finds that many businesses are already working in some way with other businesses from their industry or local area, with just 14 per cent never working with competitors.

Related: How to become friends with your competitors

That number would jump up to just over a fifth of businesses if the economy were in a better position, with 22 per cent saying they would be less likely to cooperate with a competing business, or with more competing businesses if the economy improved, suggesting that the recession has brought businesses closer together.

David Buttress, managing director at Just Eat says, ‘We have uncovered a real culture of collaboration in businesses in the UK. These are the sort of small, ambitious companies that have been identified as being the key to kickstarting Britain’s economy, and it’s heartening to see that a significant proportion are looking at what they can do with their competitors to grow business, rather than relying on government handouts or non-existent bank funding all the time.’

When it comes to businesses that hadn’t worked with competitors, just over one in ten would consider working with others if it meant access to services that would otherwise be too expensive.

However, ultimately more money would help convince the anti-collaborators – 31 per cent say increased profitability would push them to work with a business they share customers with.

See also: The power of collaboration for expanding businesses

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