By Claire West
The key to helping business grow could be from working with competitors, according to a survey of UK small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). In fact, working with companies in the same industry or location is more important in helping business grow in the next twelve months than a resolution to the Eurozone crisis, the survey commissioned by JUST EAT found.
Thirty per cent of UK SMBs said that working with competitors would help their business grow most in the next twelve months, compared to just over a fifth (21%) who felt that a resolution to the Eurozone crisis would help.
The survey also found that many businesses were already working in some way with other businesses from their industry or local area, with just 14 per cent never working with competitors. That number would jump up to just over a fifth of businesses if the economy was in a better position, with 22 per cent saying they would be less likely to cooperate with a competing business / with more competing businesses if the economy improved, suggesting that the recession has brought businesses closer together.
David Buttress , MD UK for JUST EAT, said “We’ve 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 kick starting 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 came 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 said increased profitability would push them to work with a business they share customers with.