Today we wanted to talk about the amazing business booster which is: collaborations. Why are they so good? Because collaborations can immediately have results.
When you collaborate with others the benefits are immense, here’s just a few…
– Achievement: You can achieve more with twice the man power, and so the more people you can collaborate with, the bigger the project you can handle. The more impressive a project you work on, the more you can shout about it to get your next even bigger client
– Awareness: By working together you essentially increase your reach by using each other’s audiences
– Credibility: Collaboration with other experts increases your worth. Their credibility, image and reputation rubs off on you.
– Accountability: You won’t want to let them down and so you will work extra hard
– Impress: By working together on projects you can take on bigger projects than you can by yourself, achieving more impressive results and getting better word of mouth referrals
– Strength: Strengthen your value proposition by drawing in experts to cover any weaknesses you may have
The most important thing to remember here is that with collaboration, comes a bigger pie! What on earth do we mean by that?
– Bigger pie (diagram) Yes you share profits but it is worth it.
Types of collaboration
There are lots of different ways you can collaborate. Guest postings, strong referral bonds, working together to tender for larger projects, extend your product offering, white labelling, events and many more.
Who can you collaborate with?
Let’s use website designers as an example, who can they collaborate with? Lot’s of businesses: graphic designers, marketing consultants, photographers, business coaches, funding agencies, SEO specialists, printers, designers, specialist developers, and so on. Making strong links (relationships are key here) with these types of businesses strengthens the web designers positioning in the market. They can pass work between each other, they can tender together for larger clients, they could even come together to do a whole day workshop on digital marketing and use the lists of each company to boost each other’s audience and authority.
So…Who else do you know that works in a similar field to you? Who else has the same mission as you? Check out the guide on how to find your ‘why’ in the beginners corner. If you both solve similar problems for your customers, have a similar audiences, or are both in business for the same reason, then there is probably a good chance you can collaborate together.
First things first
It’s important to know what you specialise in because other companies won’t want to collaborate with you if they see you as a threat. If you do what they do then there is always a risk of stealing their customers. What you need to do is see where you can add value to them and help them in areas where they do not provide support or have expertise in. For example a small web design company might collaborate with a larger web design agency who has specialist developers. If the smaller company can’t do a certain bit of coding themselves, rather than lose that business they can work with the larger agency’s specialist developer to clinch the deal. The support has to be mutual, if the larger agency is presented with too small a project, it should pass it on to their now trusted smaller web design company for whom it is more suited.
So you CAN work with competition! Never shy away from talking to a competitor at any networking events you may go to, we see that a lot. Oftentimes they can lead to the best relationships and future collaborations.
If you can find some kind of partnership with larger organisations then your business could really fly. By organisations we mean council departments, universities, large corporations, and even charities. We have heard about so many companies collaborating in this way and being hugely successful with it. These types of organisations usually have large audiences that they can promote you to. It’s always worth keeping an eye out to meet the key decision makers, or actively going out of your way to make meetings with them.
One leads to two
Collaboration is a step by step process that you can climb like a ladder. One successful collaboration can be shouted about and used to make another even better one. Think about your positioning in the market however, collaborating with a company with a poor image or reputation can be disastrous. So make sure you are constantly climbing the ladder upwards, not taking a step down.
Collaboration is a fantastic way of business development, so don’t see marketing as solely a way to get the attention of customers. It is worth spending some marketing time on this other group of people, that you can work with, to help each other.
ACTION: What do you specialise in? What are you particularly strong at or well known for? Write it down.
ACTION: Who can you collaborate with? Think about who has similar aims as you, who works with similar people to you, who is in business for the same reason as you, who solves the same problem as you, who is in a similar industry, who would you really like to work with? Start now by making a list (somewhere you can keep adding to) of all the people and organisations you know who you could potentially collaborate with.
ACTION: Pick three potential collaborations and think to yourself how can you MUTUALLY benefit each other? Don’t just think in terms of money either.
ACTION: Get in touch with them!
Let us know how it goes!