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The benefits of collaboration

Diane Hall


4 hands holding puzzle pieces

When setting up your business, your goals are probably the only ones on the horizon. There’s so much to do when launching an enterprise that joining up with another business may not be the first thing you think about. You also hear lots of horror stories about disastrous partnerships and business collaborations turning sour, causing unwanted complications.

Despite the handful of nightmare collaborations, in the main, joining forces with another company is usually a good thing, if both parties receive equal benefit from the link-up and your products/services are appropriately aligned. The right partnership has the potential to enrich your businesses and help both of you to achieve higher sales and more revenue.

Still unconvinced? Read on…

New ideas

When joining up with another company, you get the opportunity to look at your business through someone else’s eyes…namely your potential collaborator’s. It’s easy to spend all your time working in your business rather than on your business, and priming your enterprise so that it’s attractive to a third party can help you spot under-performing areas.

Looking at a similar business from the inside out, i.e. your collaborator’s, can give you valuable insight into other ways of doing things, as every business owner has their own methods, approaches and routines. You may decide to apply some of their ideas within your business and vice versa.

New audiences

The trick is not to collaborate with a direct competitor, but a brand that complements your business. It’s imperative that they have the same audience as you for the collaboration to work effectively; the perfect match is a business that sells something that could be a welcome addition to what you sell, or that they provide a product/service that’s commonly purchased with yours.

As part of the collaboration, you will gain another audience that you won’t currently be privy to. And not just a random audience either, but one that will be/is on the lookout for the exact product/service you provide. Of course, your collaborator will enjoy the same perk when you open up your audience to them, too.

Serious professionals consulting at working meeting

Serious professionals consulting at working meeting

Saves money

To access a whole new audience that’s filtered and primed for your benefit can be costly—collaborating with an appropriate business who has already carved this audience out could save you a lot of money.

Saves time

Planning a marketing campaign or promoting a new offer can be time-consuming. The benefit of collaboration is that both of you will be shouldering the marketing burden. Apportion the necessary promotional tasks according to the time you both have available and your individual skills base and enjoy double the results for half the usual effort.

Fosters good relationships

When collaborations work well, they can widen both parties’ networks and bring more collaborative opportunities to the fore. Working with fellow entrepreneurs in your local district shows you as an open, forward-thinking, considerate business owner that other entrepreneurs will gravitate towards.

Widens your reach

A good collaboration will open you up to new audiences, but it could also promote your brand in a new physical location. If you have a bricks and mortar store in one locality, for example, it may be too expensive to think about opening a second branch in a different district. A collaboration with a business aligned to yours, that also occupies a physical store, may see your products on their shelves—which could prove a much cheaper way to put your products under the noses of customers in a different location to you.

These are just a few of the positives you should see if you choose the right business to partner with...

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