Collaboration Works Best for Specialists (As Featured in LBV, April 2024)

Hands up, who remembers when the term “one-stop-shop” ruled the roost? While it’s still a valid business positioning for many, is it such a common goal as it used to be? Or are businesses in the same sector truly happy to collaborate, and even share?

These are the questions we asked ourselves when we first came up with the idea of providing quarterly same-sector networking meetings in addition to our monthly cross-sector meetings

Unlike some other networking organisations, we don’t prevent more than one business from any specific sector from attending our events, And, we have always found “competitors” have managed to come along to our monthly lunch meetings without them descending into a bun fight.

But, we wondered, would it actually work to gather members from the same sector together for separate dedicated events? So, it was with a little caution that we launched our first sector-specific professional services networking group in 2022.

Thankfully, members have told us they get great value from mixing with their contemporaries, and the chance to meet and talk through common problems has been highly beneficial to them.

Members also say they have found that all firms in similar sectors are not the same. Who knew?! They often have different strengths and specialisms, and hence different types of perfect customer. So companies that might previously have thought of each other as competitors, have in fact become highly productive referral partners.

Following the success of the first professional services group, we have since launched groups for the creative, digital and hospitality sectors – with, so far, not a single bun thrown.

It just shows, if you are confident in what you do an openminded approach can work wonders.

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