Updated: May 13, 2021
Collaboration is a powerful business tool for companies, regardless of their size or industry. It typically refers to organizations working together to address problems and achieve goals that seem to be out of reach when working alone.
By combining the effort and expertise of different organizations, all partners in the network are better able to innovate and grow, and increase their competitiveness on many levels.Collaboration and strategic partnerships are fundamental to improving business outcomes. Strategic partnerships benefit everyone: businesses, employees and customers.
The reality of today's business landscape, however, means that partnerships are key to better serving customers by merging talent, expertise, technology and purpose. While the rewards are great, strategic partnerships require thoughtful consideration to ensure success is achieved. If you are not convinced that collaboration is really worth the time and effort, here are reasons you should care about collaboration in your small business.
Collaboration Will Inspire You
It is easy to get into a routine during the day-to-day operations of your business and forget that there may be a better way to do something, different techniques to try, and new tools that can save you time and money.
Collaboration Helps You Grow Your Network
Successful entrepreneurs have a common interest in meeting new people and building a list of contacts and colleagues. Being successful in business requires that you consistently make connections and form alliances. Imagine how your business would dwindle if you continued to network with and sell to the same group over and over again.
Collaboration Is Educational
One of the biggest benefits of collaboration is the opportunity for learning. In fact, every interaction you have with someone outside of your immediate circle can teach you something valuable. Some of the most successful collaborations involve two professionals who bring two very different skill sets, perspectives, and strengths to the table. When this happens, you are certain to be surrounded by learning opportunities.
Collaboration Can Help You Save Money
Many collaborative relationships involve splitting intellectual contribution, hands-on work and, sometimes, expenses. If you collaborate with another business and part of the terms involve sharing development and marketing expenses, you can double your budget while reducing costs. In this case, you can be fairly certain you will be getting a bigger bang for your buck than you would be if using only your own resources, provided all of the parties involved are equally invested in the success of the collaboration.
Collaboration Solves Problems
There is a reason crowdsourcing is so popular; there is an undeniable power in numbers. If one person can't accomplish something on his or her own, two or three or more people may be able to get it done.
Think about the last difficult problem you faced in your business. When we get stumped, most of us immediately go to a partner, mentor, or other trusted resource who acts as a sounding board and helps us work through the problem. The harder the problem is to solve, the more we can benefit from getting the input of someone outside of the situation. And when you add new viewpoints and experiences to the mix, the end result will often transcend what you originally set out to accomplish.
The good news is that small business collaboration doesn’t necessarily require a significant time or financial investment if you think creatively.