I noticed the hashtag #communityovercompetition this year, yet it looks to have been around for a while. Yup, 4.4M posts on Insta. Not sure where I have been all this time. Anyhoo, I’m thinking it came into my (digital) world this year due to shite-show that has been Covid.
Community over competition – it’s a nice sentiment yeah? Sure is.
To me, it’s about sparking up friendships with your competition. Supporting their social pages, even purchasing from them. It’s about connecting with your competitors, regularly. Building a ‘team’ around you of like-minded people. People who – even though you all compete with each other – you all get each other. Like, really understand the *real* stuff that happens in your industry.
That time I got sick….
Let me tell you about that time I got sick. Think stuck-on-the-toilet sick (too much info I know, but, you know, real life). And I had cake orders to fulfill.
This is a cake maker’s worst nightmare. Gastro and food manufacturing do not mingle together, ever. Getting sick when you are a solo operator is The. Worst. It’s the thing that keeps us up at night.
What did I do? I got on the phone to my cake mates. Because I know that stuff happens, I have surrounded myself with a bunch of legends. My cake friend (who is a registered cake maker) came to my house and iced my cakes. She had her own orders, and she came and saved my bacon. In this case, there was no such thing as competition. Grateful? You bet I am, still to this day.
Because in the events industry, nothing waits.
When you decide to start a biz in the events industry – be it a Florist, Celebrant, DJ, Stylist – and your role is critical on the day of the event. Nothing can go wrong. NOTHING! Especially if you are a sole trader. You can’t push back a wedding deadline. You can’t procrastinate and think “I’ll do that cake later”. There is no such thing as later!
And guess what? Shit happens. Things go wrong.
People get sick, to the point where they physically or mentally cannot work.
Equipment fails on the day.
Flowers you ordered don’t arrive as you hoped, due to unforeseen weather events.
Cake toppers break on the day of the event (yup this has happened to me).
Power goes out at the height of our summer. That means fridges full of buttercream cakes will no longer be cold, or stable #noooooooo
When the power goes out during wedding season.
And that wedding? The bridal couple, who have put all their trust into you? Well, it’s happening regardless. And that is why you need to see your peers as a community in the events industry, rather than competition. Because one day, they will need to come to your rescue.
#communityovercompetition – it’s more than nice.
This mindset of community over competition – it’s completely necessary. To the point where it needs to be a part of your strategic plan.
“But strategy is for big corporate’s” I hear you say. Nup. Not if you are serious about your biz. If you care about your business, and care about your clients, you must have a group of peers in your inner circle. And I go as far as saying
that you must think strategically about this, and take action.
Who is your go-to, bacon-saving industry mate?
Think about it. And if you can’t name at least one person who will have your back in tough times, then you need to get on the DM’s. Today. Now. Run!
I have many registered cake makers that I can reach out to if I need baking back-up. Heck, I’ve enacted this back-up plan, and it saved me.
I have written agreements in place with cake makers that if my power goes out, that I can use their fridge. In return, they can use mine if needed (because community in the events industry goes both ways). A three-tier buttercream cake sitting on the bench for a February wedding? Nightmare.
– it’s more than a hashtag. It’s a mindset, a strategy, and for us event’s folk, it’s good business.
PS – You’re a cake maker and thinking you need BFF who may, one day, save your bacon? Email me and let’s chat x