We’ve all been there before.
Your ears have most definitely fallen victim to the “two brains is better than one” or “alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much’ spiels. Yadda-yadda the list of quotes go on, forever and ever. But does all of this really mean that there is benefit in collaborating as a small business?
Collaborations and collaborators are taking over the world and the way we do business. There’s no doubt that being on the collaboration side of things as a small business is a powerful way for your business to grow, keep up, save time, money and still grow and improve your services or products – it was a lot to swallow, we know.
Let’s take a big breath and dive deep into the benefits of small business collaboration and why it’s especially important.
Hey, hey welcome to the comfort zone…
…and say good bye to it just as fast! Sure, starting a business forces you to step outside of your own comfort zone, for a little while but what happens when your feeling content again? For a small business, it will suffer. Your ideas start to become repetitive and very quickly you will find progression a little uhh…stiff.
By joining forces and collaborating, your small business is meeting new people and with new people comes… a new thought? Sure! But more importantly, connections. Suddenly your small business is on the forefront of a few people, who ar eintersted in what you offer and what your business is about.
It kind of sounds like we’re about to tell you to join the latest dating app doesn’t it? Don’t fear, no mind numbing swipes here. Instead check out your local meetup events. There are loads in major cities and it’s a sure fire way to meet like minded business professionals who can have a little or a lot to add to your small business – it’s all about trial and error and those sweet golden words – leaving your comfort zone.
Handy Collab tip! Remember to try and build a connection with people than jumping straight into business. You want to be able to at least hold a conversation with them and potentially a client for life #workwife?
I believe I can fly…
…and we believe you can touch the sky if you’re feeling inspired. A lot of small businesses start teeny tiny, and most often this means your office doubles as your dining room or a small shared space with one other. We love the beginnings, but it can often leave little room for an inspirational environment. When you collaborate with another business, it can “spark joy” being forced to leave your standard surroundings. Your mind as well as your collaborators minds start a tickin’. The two sets of (now tickin’) minds, thoughts and capabilities may be the start of a bigger project or idea than you could have imagined alone. Plus, who doesn’t need a little kick up the “eek” for extra encouragement or enthusiasm every now and then.
Collaborate and listen…
…instead of competing like it’s your first year of high school netball or footy. If you can’t beat them, join them – yeah, we know it’s another cliché quote, but we love playing the character. With a new small business venture, it is a-ok and totally normal to be feeling all the nerves all of the time. Where is it coming from? Most often, it’s because you are stalking the S! out of your competitors. Yeah we said, now put your phone down from their Instagram account and pay attention. Instead of paralleling your business and scrutinising your competitors every move, it might be worth joining forces. Heads up; it’s more common than you think. Collaborating with another business can help set superior aims and bring in more information, enthusiasm and experience to both businesses – what’s not to love about that?
Here we are with another quote – kind of just doing it for fun now. But the saying ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ has enormous value for small businesses. A collaboration with a business you once saw as a competitior can give you equal amounts of spotlight, extra knowledge, a doubled contact and client list as well as a little heads up of their next moves. By building alliances with other businesses, you just never know what will come out of it – you could form a superpower version of both of your businesses!
So gimme all of you, in exchange for all of us…
It’s pretty rare that you are going to collaborate with a business that matches your skills, experiences and services entirely. So there’s got to be something you both want to gain from the collaboration, right? Well there better be! Figuring out where you can each help each other grow is an integral part of collaboration. What can you offer their business to help them hit that niche market or how can they help you with face to face clients if it’s not your forte. Collaborating is a great way to offer an exchange of services.
Exchanging services pretty obviously gives each business that extra comprehension and added skills – plus it’s super easy to get legitimate testimonials and build case studies for each other.
Handy Collab tip: You want the exchange of skills or expertise to be equal for both businesses. Try to check in with each other as your relationship continues to make sure it’s still beneficial for everyone- no one wants a grumpy business collaboration!
What goes around comes around…
…finally we got to use a Justin Timberlake reference. But seriously, you never know where your small business will go. With hard work and determination – and a great collaboration – hopefully beyond the stars! Through networking you will meet generous people in your industry who want to help you grow your small business and see you thrive. This could be in the form of offering their advice for free, even though they are usually paid to give it – hello dream person, never let this one go (without taking advantage)! Finding a collaborator who is interested in what your small business is about and how you can partner up and help them with their business, gives you so much confidence that the product or service you are offering is the bees-knees –we feel warm and fuzzy.
So you are pretty aware by now that collaboration is vital to small business existence. As any kind of business owner, finding a support network can give you the confidence and support you didn’t even know you needed. Changing your mindset to look at other businesses as collaborators who aren’t threats but simply a way to grow will have you radiating positivity and your customers will feel it. Joining the land of collaboration can inspire you, create better networks, sometimes decrease costs by sharing the expense, add newness to your services, and most importantly move your business in the right direction – up, up, up!