When you’re running a business, it’s easy to think that you have all the skills, tools, and means to be a success all on your own. After all, isn’t one of the biggest reasons that we get into business to have that sense of autonomy? While this is true, any business success will tell you that they got help somewhere down the line. What this means differs from case to case and business to business, but it all matters. Whether you are working with a graphic designer to create eye-popping immigration ads or get a local radio host to shout-out your plumbing business, it all matters. Knowing when to collaborate and who to collaborate with can make the difference when it comes to business success.
There are different types of collaboration for you to choose from, starting with indirect competitors. This is probably the most common one you see, and there’s a good reason. After all, why would you want to potentially boost the efforts of a direct competitor? Indirect competitors can help you get some help without immediately creating issues for yourself now or down the line. Let’s use an event rental company as a good example here. They may rent spaces and party equipment, and their clients could be private individuals, but also other businesses that need their services. This can include schools and childcare centers, planners, and corporations. This type of collaboration has the immediate benefit of some profit, but it also may help raise the profile of your business in the eyes of your local community, while creating relationships that may pay off later.
Collaboration with direct competitors may sound a bit odd at first, but it’s not impossible. In some cases, it may make more sense to start working with another business in your niche if the situation demands it. For one, you may be able to pool together your shared resources this way, which can include the skills of your employees, the tech you have access too, and even your working capital and vendors. How much you are willing to share will ultimately depend on how you feel and the situation at hand. In addition, it may be easier to compete with one company rather than 10 companies. Working together means you have the customer presence and size to potentially stop other competitors who are going solo.
Customer collaboration is interesting because at first, you’re probably worried about them buying rather than helping you. However, you can weave a little bit of collaboration in with their purchases. Feedback is a great example. Setting up a survey or online suggestion box allows you to get straight insight from the consumer.