I’ve been hearing a lot about the notion of collaboration over competition. Most of us solopreneurs can agree that it can get very lonely at times. Not only are we occupied trying to manage our businesses, we’re always thinking about how we will drive more traffic to our shop – products & services. We all know that working smart and not hard is the ultimate goal, which is why I strongly believe that collaboration is simply smart business.
Why do it alone when you can amplify your message by joining forces with others who compliment your brand?
Competition can be healthy if it inspires you to be more creative. However, competition can also be detrimental to your progress if all you are focused on is you and your own success. “Teamwork makes the Dream work,” and that’s what collaboration is all about.
Collaboration is a joint effort of multiple of individuals who work together to accomplish a project, task or goal.
Here are 3 reasons why collaborating is the latest trend to follow and how it is going to impact your business, exponentially:
1) TWO MINDS ARE ALWAYS BETTER THAN ONE. THREE MINDS WIDEN PERSPECTIVE & EXPAND THE VISION
Have you ever had an idea and felt stuck in your thoughts, asking yourself, “how do I make this work?” Or, “what should I do to increase my exposure?” Or, “how can I generate more sales?” Imagine reaching out to a select few businesses/people to achieve this goal.
Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s time to pull up your socks, scope out the hustling field and strategically pick your Teammates. You will learn so much from working with other like-minded people, which is why collaboration is known to elevate one’s reach and impact. Your ideas will begin to expand and become more colourful once you invite more people into your space.
Where do you even start? Reach out to people in your network who have the same target market as you do and brainstorm the different ways that each person can use their expertise to educate/entice new customers. For example, if you are a Business Coach and your target market is women in business between the ages of 25 – 40, perhaps you want to host an educational event with a Brand Strategist, a web designer and/or a Marketing Expert, whose target market, values and image aligns with yours.
Side note: Be sure to do your research and pick the right people/businesses whose message, values, image (brand) and reputation are in alignment with you and your brand. Go for a coffee with this person and find out more about who they are and what they’re all about! You never know, it could be a match-made in heaven.
2) YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO GENERATE REFERRALS FROM STRONG RELATIONSHIPS
Let’s be honest. Referrals are nice and some of our best business comes from people who have recommended us.
Once you start collaborating with other people/businesses that compliment your own, naturally, the people that you create these new relationships with will develop more trust and more enthusiasm around you and your brand over time. As a result, your alliances might pass along your name and before you know it, you may start to generate sales from those referrals.
Most of our businesses these days thrive off of referrals. This could be the obvious referral, where someone who knows you sends business your way. Or, because we live in a very social media savvy kind of world today, a referral could simply mean an endorsement, where someone “shares” your post or “comments/ leaves a review” for others to see. If referrals don’t motivate you to collaborate, I don’t know what will!
Side note: While referrals are wonderful, it takes work to earn them. Maintaining a positive relationship by providing your support when you can is one way to earn someone’s trust and loyalty. Always be mindful of how you are playing a role in building strong connections. People will remember you if you remember them!
3) COMMUNITY IS EVERYTHING
We spend a lot of time on our own as entrepreneurs and CEO’s of our business, to begin with, why not have the support of others to uplift you, inspire you and teach you when you need it most?
Having the mindset that collaboration can be a powerful strategy for your business and always keeping your eyes open for opportunities to CONNECT people to those who you think might add value to their businesses, puts you in a position as a community builder who thinks of the success of others, not just herself.
People will want to do business with you and are likely to think of you for projects if you are showing an interest in supporting him/her as well.
Bottom line is, the bigger your community becomes, the more successful you will be. It can also be incredibly fulfilling to be able to share your struggles, challenges and needs with people who can relate with you and offer support and inspiration to keep going. After all, collaboration builds community and before you know it, you will have created for yourself a community of people who care for one another, advocate for eachother, and cheer eachother on!
In collaboration, each person brings different gifts to the table. When a group of highly qualified people that produce quality results come together, amazing things are bound to happen. We all know that there is power in numbers!
I challenge you to get creative and think outside of your own business and think of ways you can work with other businesses that share your target market – and reach out to them by simply saying, “Hey, I think we should collaborate!” It could be that simple if you remember these 3 reasons why collaboration is a powerful business strategy. You never know if you never try!
Are you a business owner looking for more opportunities to collaborate with others? Need advice on HOW-TO do so, specifically for your business? Feel free to share your business + thoughts on “collaboration” below! I would love to hear from you. ❤