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Last week we were talking with a business owner in another town here in Northern Ireland. They were telling us about how one of their staff members works part-time with them and, also in another business a short drive away. Only a few short miles separate them and in one sense they are not in direct competition with each other but, as we listened we became more intrigued.

The business owner we were talking to had recently spent time with the other business, learning from them, seeing how they operate and sharing ideas with them. It was brilliant to hear about a community spirit among businesses that is being actively pursued, created and nurtured.

This conversation was [surprise] about two coffee shops. If you are not interested in coffee, please don’t switch off just yet because, a coffee shop is a lot like your business. There are always systems, processes, standards and goals.

Working with others

Imagine Ballymena

Imagine sharing how your business works in order to help another local business or a new business getting started in your town. Other businesses can learn from how you do things. Your till system, stock taking, recruitment, technology, social media, suppliers, ideas, marketing, recipes, skills, staff training… the list is endless.

AndĀ imagine doing this with competitors as well as fledgling businesses.

ThisĀ is crucial and, will be even more crucial in the coming weeks, months and years.

Community being pursued, created and nurtured.

That’s how we navigate and survive the Internet, economic uncertainty, Brexit, failed quangos… and so on.