The shortage of paper and the closure of multiple small debt buyers and collectors has created a need for small companies to collaborate for their survival. The increased collaboration between large collection corporations and the government is pushing small businesses out of the debt market. Although this trend may not be permanent, it still affects profitability and small businesses must work together to find strategies to survive. Here are five suggestions:
- Participate in boards and committees: During a grassroots campaign for the DBA board, it was discovered that there is ample opportunity for input into the RMAi and ACA through committee participation. Adding voices to committees will enhance the input of small debt buyers and collectors.
- Limit violations and hold rogue companies accountable: As a buyer, I refuse to work with companies that are habitual violators or engage in criminal activity. To ensure the survival of the industry, standards must be high. The industry must prove compliance and profitability to maintain the future supply of paper.
- State-level involvement: All small agencies should know the political landscape in their state and engage with local and state representatives through individual and state organization chapters. Political change must be engaged at all levels.
- Support key court cases: Supporting the industry's side in critical court cases that affect collection laws is critical. Although the DBA or ACA may assist in some cases, a call for assistance should be made if necessary. Settling out of court may not be the best long-term strategy.
- Share strategies: Sharing profitable strategies that work at a local level and will benefit other companies without major competition can benefit the industry as a whole. This does not mean sharing trade secrets or tactics, but rather working together and promoting causes for small businesses to show their strength.
In conclusion: There are many ways for small businesses to collaborate. The above are just a few examples. What have you done to collaborate with other small businesses? Share your story and let's learn from each other. The key to long-term profitability and survival is a balance of cooperative relationships and competition within the industry.