THE POWER OF COLLABORATION
Collaboration is the name of the game!
The old African saying;
If you want to go fast go alone.
If you want to go far go together.
It is so true, in business as well.
I see so many startups who go really fast and then fail.
However always remember your network is your net worth and it’s so important to network, however networking is not about just wanting things from other people, it’s what you can do to support them and in turn you can be sure they will support you and your business. As the great Zig Ziglar said, “you can have anything that you want if you help other people to get what they want."
No matter what industry you are in, always think of yourself as being in the service industry. You are there to serve and if you do this you will always prosper and grow. Serving others is the greatest antidote for depression and can instantly make you feel good about yourself. You see, what you give to others you always receive back ten-fold.
At Hirsch's Homestores we started on our own but soon graduated to teaching microwave cooking to our clients. We didn’t get paid any extra for this, we did it purely so that our clients would be able to get the best use out of the microwave ovens they bought. It paid dividends more than ten times over. Later on, we realised that our suppliers were our most important allies and we embraced them and gave them space in our stores exclusively for their products and that is how the shop in shop system came about.
Even more recently we started the Samsung concept stores which we own in Mall of Africa and Sandton, in Gauteng, Pavilion, Gateway and Ballito Junction in KZN and Constantia village in the Cape. The collaboration with Samsung has been great as we can lean on their global expertise, advertising and fantastic products and in turn we have given them the most phenomenal turnover in South Africa. They are now the biggest and most powerful electronics company in the world.
When I think of how we started in our tiny little shop at 169 Umhlanga rocks drive in Durban to the 20 stores we have today, we could never have done this on our own. Companies like Defy, LG, Samsung and Smeg to name just a few, have allowed us to be great and we in turn have made them great, all the while realising that we are in the service business and our service departments in all provinces are still the most important hub. I tell everyone that service drives sales - as soon as the service levels drop, the sales drop and as we up our service levels so our sales levels go up in leaps and bounds.
You always need to give before you can receive and that’s the secret of good sales. Give the customers the best possible service and go the extra mile for them. We deliver the same day in all the larger towns, we unbox, set the machine up, remove the shipping braces from the washing machines, level the fridges and remove the packaging, ensuring that the client has a seamless delivery and is able to enjoy the product they have bought. We still go the extra mile by providing an extended warrantee that will carry on long after the original warrantee is over, and this gives our clients peace of mind for three to five years post purchase. We also arrange installation of air conditioners, gas hobs, TV’s, and sound systems, to name just a few of our amazing services.
Marketing is extremely important as you can have the best product at the best price but if no one knows about it, there will be no sales, so always ensure the business has a fantastic marketing team or employ a really good agency to help get your message across.
These collaborations are priceless and will help your business and theirs!!
When you finish reading this article, make a list of all the people you deal with on a regular basis and see how you can collaborate to ensure that both businesses not only survive but thrive in these tough times.