Collaborations are a powerful tool for all small business owners, no matter what the sector or the type of business. In fact, collaborating means creating meaningful connections, which will help your business expand and will bring your company to new levels of greatness.
However, if you are wondering how collaborating will benefit your business, here are six great reasons which will help you make up your mind:
- Collaboration equals inspiration
You might have a great idea, but someone with a different background and experience might think of a better approach to your idea or might have different technical tools and knowledge to make it happen.
There are many great ways to get inspired, such as reading blogs, listening to podcasts and participating in events, however, there is nothing as effective as communicating and exchanging ideas. This process will benefit you in terms of creativity and knowledge: your partner might think of innovative solutions to problems you have been experiencing for a long time, saving you time and money!
Take the example of Kalundborg Symbiosis, a Danish company that converts waste materials from its member companies into raw production materials for others. This enables increased production capacity without related increases in water or energy consumption while providing lower production costs, less waste management, and reduced environmental impact.
The initiative was born out of conversations between business people and government to local authorities. Together, they established a collaboration that allowed them to find a new solution to an old problem!
- Collaborations help to grow your network
Who among you doesn’t want to create new connections, broaden your network and build a list of reliable contacts? No successful business stands alone; in fact, in a society as interconnected as ours, we all need alliances and fruitful connections with other stakeholders. These will, to some extent, determine the success of your business.
Whether you are looking to expand your audience, your potential customers or your list of trusted suppliers, the collaborator will certainly be the solution to many of your existing struggles. For the same reason, you shouldn’t be afraid to start collaborating with someone who is a little different than you, as diversity might allow your company to deal with a whole new market, or to communicate better to a certain share of the audience you haven’t been able to reach.
Granted. Not every contact you will make will translate into collaborations, but every time you contact someone to explore the possibility, you are already expanding your network, and this will help your business grow stronger and wider.
If you are looking into ways to expand your network and find potential collaborators, check out how to use the CollabMaker platform, and start meeting other people with unique tools and competences!
- Collaborations offer great learning opportunities!
One of the main advantages of collaborations is that you’ll always learn something new and valuable. In fact, every interaction you have with someone that comes from a different circle, culture, age group, or education, can teach you something important. Among the most successful collaborations, you’ll find many professionals who have very different sets of skills, perspectives, and abilities.
Take the example of Biotherm and Renault: the former is a Skin-care company part of the Luxury Products Division of the L’Oreal Group, while the latter is an automobile manufacturer. The two should theoretically share no interest whatsoever, however, in 2012 they launched ZOE Spa Car, a vehicle that features advanced air filtration and purification systems to protect the passengers’ health and improve their sense of well-being while inside the vehicle, plus, it is 100% electric!
- Collaboration can help you save money
Whichever purpose drives your business, it has to make a profit. Saving money is essential for any business, especially so in the difficult times we are living through. Obviously, finding a partner to collaborate with, will mean sharing at least some costs when starting out.
Furthermore, partnering with someone brings value to your business in terms of the skills that your collaborator will provide, and allowing you to focus on your key tasks.
- Collaborations solve problems
There is an undeniable power in numbers, which is why collaborating with someone, especially an expert within the field, will help you to not only to improve your concept but help to sell it better and reach a more diverse audience.
Think about all the circumstances in which you have faced a problem and you have asked for help from your team, mentor, boss, or to the public in general. Every complex problem can be solved with different solutions and faced with several strategies, therefore the more opinions you have, the more you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
- Collaborations are beneficial to both parties
Collaborations benefit each participant: businesses as much as the public. Union equals strength, and if approached in the correct way, every collaboration positions you for growth and advancement.
- Think about Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple. Despite only collaborating for a few years, what came out of their collaboration quite literally shaped the world as we know it. Their example truly shows us that collaborations should begin with a shared interest, and each party should have something useful to contribute.
- Cohen and Greenfield (better known as Ben & Jerry) founded their ice cream company in Burlington, VT in 1978. The friends had a shared interest in ice cream and took a class on ice cream making for $5, before putting together their resources and starting Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc.
- Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel only owned 10% of her business! The rest was owned by her financier, Pierre Wertheimer. By partnering with him Chanel was able to maintain exclusive creative control over her brand; leverage Wertheimer’s expertise, his business connections and capital.
After all, isn’t every business a collaboration of different people? Think about staff and teams that work together towards one common goal, or about different people that come together to create a new business, such as Collabmaker itself!
If you are ready to start your new business partnership, join the CollabMaker community by clicking here!