Many small business owners may be out to change the world. At the very least, we want to do things our way.
Some of us started our businesses because we did not fit into the corporate way of doing things. Others started out of necessity--maybe we lost a job or could not find one. Either way, we now are doing things the way we want to; the way that makes sense to us; the way it should be.
Because of that, I feel confident to say we are out to change the world.
However, sometimes, we are simply too small. We are like a pebble trying to change the direction of the ocean. How can we change the world when we are that small?
I know someone who runs a values-driven, natural foods company. He was sharing with a group of us about how he was accepted into an accelerator with a major food company (think mass produced, the very opposite of natural food). I asked him how he could reconcile that. His response was he had to pick his battles. That company was going to get him the distribution and recognition on a scale he could never achieve on his own.
His goal was to grow and this was the way for him to do it. He was not necessarily sacrificing his overall vision but the means for his growth came in a new, unexpected way. He was open to it and it worked for him and his company. At the end of the day, he felt comfortable with this change of course. And maybe, just maybe, they will change their ways. Personally, I think it is a promising sign that they even have this accelerator for natural food startups.
When you are a pebble in the ocean, it sometimes makes sense to catch a ride. Eventually, there will be enough pebbles together to change the direction of the tide.
Recently we shared about using partnerships to grow your business. When taking on the world as a small business, you can amplify your impact through partnerships. Partnerships can come in many forms. Be creative as you explore!
These partnerships can come in many forms. They could be complimentary businesses offering tips, services or products that mesh well with yours. You could find a partner in a different geographical location to broaden your client base. Some partnerships are long term and some are short term or as needed. The key is ensuring the person you partner with shares a similar vision and mindset when it comes to business. You want your business to maintain its integrity when paired with another.
People talk about selling out for money. Small businesses need not “sell out” to corporations to find ultimate success. They can, however, get help from larger entities for brand recognition. Business owners need to be open to opportunities that might require some rechanneling of thought but could ultimately broaden their client or customer base.