Collaboration is something I think we have always done well in rural Scotland. After all, if you take out the corporate buzz definition it’s about us working together, whether that be recommendations, bartering or pulling resources together, the focus always on getting the job done and value for money (it’s the canny Scot in us!).
In such uncertain times when businesses of all size and sector are affected by this unknown world we have to, as business owners, think of life after lockdown whatever that holds.
For us as a producer and tourism provider over 80% of our business went overnight. We're so lucky that we can still trade our online shop but it has made me look at what business will look like going forward. It feels in a way like we are starting again.
Global collaboration in science and the medical community has long been international in scope, whereas sometimes I think in Scotland we all stick to our own “wee bit”, often regionalising rather than nationalising our potential.
I find collaboration and business connections fascinating at the moment. For example, last week we donated to the charity Shelter (from a % of our online sales) and, rather than feeling a sense of achievement having raised £400, I left them humbled and in awe of how extreme our worlds have become so quickly, motivated to do more and to think in new ways. Also our quest to support with sanitiser has brought suppliers from different sectors with different skills together, but that have never crossed paths before.
I hadn’t fully appreciated how collaboration forms alliances regardless of the industry, connecting people with people and you never know who you are talking too! After all everyone you meet has a story and can teach you something.
So our collaboration this week is with two brilliant Scottish producers, Summerhouse Drinks from Aberdeenshire, The Drinks Bakery from Edinburgh, all represented in our Bothy At Home £10 boxes sent with free delivery anywhere in mainland UK and can include a personal hand written message.
We have partnered with the tourism sector too, with Nae Limits from Perthshire and Gammies in Angus offering their customers complimentary gin from our Country Collection with purchases. Our mini gins are perfect in welcome hampers in holiday providers or as a thank you to your team, boxes all delivered for you and in compliance with social distancing. Small business collaboration may not mean significant time or financial investment if we think creatively!
I feel that if the innovators, the collaborators, the businesses adapt to the needs of our customers we will hopefully survive. It's going to need resilience as independents but I haven’t worked with anyone yet that is prepared to give up on what for some is more than a business, it's our life!
Consumers are supporting local businesses more than ever which is fantastic. What if we can encourage this as a collective so it becomes the new way to do business?
If anyone is interested in having a chat about collaboration please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org