With a Little Help From My Competitors: Peer Networking Among Artisan Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice published 7Jul 2013 by Kristine Kuhn and Tera Galloway.
There are numerous government programs offering assistance and just as many studies assessing the effects on small business success. Sometimes the best advise can come from fellow entrepreneurs that have already been down the road you are about to embark. This article examines the networking and advice one gets from other small business entrepreneurs by canvassing the soft support or advice that offers the most value added support. The authors also address with advise the would be most likely to provide to others in their same shoes. Although this article specifically addresses artisan entrepreneurs, the advice found within can apply to any profit or non-for-profit entrepreneurs.
The authors contacted almost 800 artisan entrepreneurs who sold original, self-produced arts and crafts on e-commerce sites and selected at random the results of 343 respondents. Harnessing Etsy and Artfire, the two largest sites for independent sellers of arts and crafts, Kuhn and Galloway (2013) offered these entrepreneurs the chance to win a $100 gift card for participation in a brief anonymous online survey. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = not important to 5 = extremely important), among other questions, respondents were asked, “How valuable each of the following types of support from other online sellers are” (Kuhn & Galloway 2013):
• Advice about how to produce your type of art or craft (information about suppliers, techniques, etc.)
• Advice on how to manage your business (pricing, buyer relations, etc.)
• Constructive criticism of the items you have for sale
• Emotional support (compliments, encouragement, etc.)
• Creative ideas for your art or craft
• Joint promotions, collaboration
• Constructive criticism of your shop's design
Knowledge is power is something we have heard many times and typically creates a competitive...