Whilst collaborating with competitors may sometimes feel counter-intuitive, in this modern business world where clients are increasingly demanding and competitors increasingly innovative, it has become a necessity for a successful business.
This means being consistently on top of new product development, intellectual property and operational integrity and it’s just not easy to do this on our own in a box room!
These are my SIX reasons to collaborate!
They all begin with S!
The very act of starting to consider how you might collaborate with others in business forces you to acknowledge, accept and articulate what you are good at and what you are bad at. If you’ve heard us talk about the power of acceptance, you’ll know that coming to an acceptance of our weaknesses as well as our strengths is a really important step in identifying where our business is exposed and finding other people who can help us.
Collaborating with others in business with different knowledge and skills to us enables us to gain those additional knowledge and skills in our business, without having to develop them ourselves. Whilst there is an argument for understanding the basics of the four areas of business: Sales and Marketing, People, Operations and Finance, there is a stronger argument for not trying to master it all, because it is neither possible, nor indeed sensible, to aspire to be good at every aspect of business.
When you collaborate effectively, it allows you stay within your capability and expertise, so that you play to your strengths as a business and as a business person and stay loyal to your offering. We all know that when we get overly distracted seeking to learn and develop skills in the areas we are not good at, we stop playing to our strengths and instead become weak. To be clear, a strength is not just something we are good at, a strength is something that we are BOTH good at and that we enjoy – that we are energised by and therefore makes us feel stronger.
When you collaborate on something with others in an effective way, you can identify issues and arrive at and implement solutions quicker. It simple terms, it also means that more activity get’s done at the same time and so things happen faster and results come quicker.
Collaboration enhances your business’s stability. This isn’t just about the stability of your business in terms of having everything covered and therefore being sustainable, but it’s also about the perceived stability of you business of propects and clients. It enables you to provide a more complete offering to your clients, so that they don’t perceive the risk associated with working with a One-Man-Band and get a better solution in the process
If you want to be able to scale what your business offers so that you can serve more people, across a wider geographic area, or reach new markets, collaborating with people who can bring technical know-how or who have platforms that you can use or lists that you can leverage is an effect means of doing so.
So these are our six reasons to collaborate. But how to do it?
Well, collaboration can take many forms, from a simple direct swap of services, to payment for introductions, to an actual Joint Venture where you team up with others to provide a broader range of skills or services and share the revenue equally.
We’ll share what we consider to be the 5 levels of collaboration in a future blog. In the meantime, consider how you could collaborate, with whom and with what end purpose and then why not book a 1-2-1 with that person today – you may find that they’ve been looking for you too!