When is big too big? Size and shrinkage jokes aside, business tactics in a struggling economy always require creative survival solutions, and sometimes a whole new vocabulary. The latest business buzz words (new enough to rate the squiggly red line on the spellchecker) seem to be hyperlocal, microenterprise and micromarketing. Fancy new ways of saying neighborhood, small business, and targeted…
I attended a Virginia Microenterprise Network conference last week with the needs of the independent musicians, writers and artists I represent in mind. The focus of the conference was business at the local, neighborhood level–exactly where creative individuals like my clients and friends start.
What did I learn? Sure, financial capital is hard to come by right now, but focusing on getting the right mix of other types of capital can dramatically increase the chances of small independent endeavors surviving. What kinds of capital are they talking about in conferences like this?
Partnering and sharing resources with the intention of providing value and service to the local community is what is getting people through these hard times. It’s a tradition of knowing and helping our neighbors and friends that I remember from my childhood. It’s a value that I’ve seen in action when natural disasters strike. It’s who we are at a very basic level, and it works.
Teaming up with the right partners with strengths in intellectual, social and creative capital can mean the difference between surviving in business or closing up shop. How are small for-profit and non-profits making this happen? Cooperative marketing and skill-sharing, creative membership- driven financing and a whole range of other non-competitive initiatives that provide mutual benefit to everyone involved.
In times like these, the importance of size might be debatable, but there’s no doubt relationships matter.