As business owners, providing assistance to other businesses should be a natural extension of our responsibilities. Many business owners are quite engrossed in their operations or daily tasks to assist others.   In assessing my business, I have realized that a lot of my leads are generated from or during the provision of assistance to others.   Recently, I pondered on the assistance provided by my company and assessed the benefited received, and need I say that the benefits outweighed the cost.   Here are five benefits of providing assistance to each other:

Sharing resources and information:   A wealth of information and resources are available out there; and research whether it be personal or professional is becoming more and more popular as consumers and businesses rarely make purchasing decisions without information. In this regard, we are constantly churning out information and knowledge of resources, some we use, others we can share as it may be relevant to our colleagues or other business. That information shared can make a difference in how things are done, decisions are made or in the case of a resource shared, may determine the success of a business venture.

Highlighting new opportunities for Growth: You may be aware of opportunities daily due to your current position, that information may not be useful to you at that particular time. We should always think of who can benefit from the particular opportunity. Opportunities may arise for careers, business contracts, endorsements, recognition etc., and this may be the break that your colleague have been awaiting and think about it, you provided that inroad. There is self-satisfaction as well as your contribution to the success of your colleague that may augur well towards you or your business in the future.

Making introductions: Over a decade ago, I read an article on the benefits of networking, and never forgot how the writer highly recommend keeping records of contacts when meeting new people.   In so doing, I am now able to have a secured network of people, not just for myself but to provide assistance to my colleagues through introduction to the right people.   An introduction can have a great impact on business deals, professional as well as personal relationships.

Volunteering and Providing Genuine feedback: In dealing with small businesses, some are not able to pay a full fee per hour and the time given to that business may be more valuable to the business owner than the dollar value.  Once I have agreed to undertake the task, I ensure that I am genuinely involved and this demonstrates my willingness to assist.   In being genuinely interested you are able to provide feedback that will assist in providing solutions required.

Promoting and Recognizing: We interact daily with colleagues, business, and people generally, how often to you promote the products, services or qualities of our associates to other people that we meet. Within our businesses, we can promote the qualities of our colleagues or staff, we can promote the service or business of a colleague and recognize staff through award schemes or nominate other business for industry awards.   Your recognition will mean the world to your colleagues as well you will be promote a skill, quality or product that others can learn, grow or benefit from in one way or another. This contributes to the dynamism and growth of your industry or sector and you will ultimately benefit.

Businesses need a successful community, sector or industry that creates demand for its products or services within a supportive environment. Great business leaders are also leaders in the community. In providing assistance to other businesses we are actually assisting ourselves and our business community.