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The Art of Collaboration and Why You Need It to Succeed

Now one must not get too whimsical and follow the notion that it’s perfectly factual to say ‘no man is an island’ in business. If anything, time and time again history has shown how leaders and different individuals can change the world. Those with the purpose to take a new direction while all others follow the same line are truly greats in their own right. These kinds of people would do well in any era of business.

However, in the modern world, you definitely need to not be unaware of what the competition is doing. Simply, there are so many ideas that have already been done, and so many yet to fully evolve, you as an entrepreneur and small business owner need keep yourself informed so you do stay unique. Collaborating with other businesses, like-minded entrepreneurs and also internally swapping and testing your own ideas in your company will lead you to a solid and stable success. The story of the fast-rising yet fast-fading business is heard and known the world over. To avoid crumbling just as fast as you have attained the success you need to stay one step ahead of your rivals. For that to happen, you need to collaborate on multiple levels.

The Best Kind of Capital

What is collaboration? At the heart of its premise is the need to discuss. Talk about ideas, really dive deeper into why you have certain ambitions in going down a route. Why are you looking to exploit this gap in the market? What is your thinking and justification for pooling your resources into this design for your latest product? Why have you made the full list of features of your service stand behind a paywall? Getting together with people in business to discuss what and why things are happening the way they are reminds you of why you got into business in the first place. This is why there are so many young entrepreneurs choosing to set up their companies in shared office spaces. Take for example the coworking nyc opportunities where you have quick WiFi, conference rooms and best of all open plan offices. Lots of individuals from different professional backgrounds share ideas all day and give each other tips to solve problems; which ones are the best ones and more likely to succeed is what the debate is all about.

When you do this among your employees as a small business, you don’t just foster new ways of thinking your reveal your most precious capital. Human capital is the most powerful tool you have. The ideas that grant your business success have to be born and tested in the mind. Mental exercise is what you are rewarded with when you openly engage in discussion about different ways of doing things, scrutinizing your already-in-motion ideas. For example, from the onset, a particular idea may have looked great but now after a few months in practice, things aren’t looking so hot. You can feel alone when it comes apparent that it’s time to drop this idea or somehow work out a way of saving it from termination and potentially flushing your funds down the drain with it. Collaborate with your staff and see if you can see your own business through someone else’s eyes.

The Watering Hole

Business exhibitions are some of the best if not the best place to find out what’s going on in your industry. News often is second place to murmurs and simmerings in industries being expressed at such exhibitions. Not only do experts, analysts, journalists and CEOs go to business exhibitions to specifically talk about the future, but they also share what is working for them and what isn’t. However, for small business industry exhibitions should be second on the list because the bigger problems shared at these events will have a lesser impact on you.

Where you need to go is to SME events. Small and medium-sized businesses are still dealing with issues of structuring, supply chain management, new ideas that are sketchy and not solid enough for active long-term investing etc. Of course, these issues do bother large business too, but they are not as troubling as they have resources and better ways of managing them. At small business events, you should search for a business to partner with if you can. Use each other to springboard onto the next level. For example, one of the big reasons why the Mercedes Formula One team is so successful is because they collaborated with Petronas to make more efficient and effective oils. Finding a business that could help you achieve your goals, swap ideas, help you to perhaps understand aspects of your ambitions better is definitely one of the more productive strategies of attaining your goals. Simply get around, do the legwork, mingle and talk to find prospective companies that have similar or related goals in mind.

Teach and Learn

In order for the fruits of collaboration to be fully ripened and enjoyed, you need to drop your ego. Ego is a good thing to have, in fact it is one of the key ingredients to becoming a success because you have to believe you really are better than your competition and will one day take the industry by storm. And yet, it can be the sword that cuts you back because in order to learn you must be willing to accept that someone else has more knowledge than you about a subject that matters to your success. On many occasions, you will be networking. Whether it be at a party of different business leaders, seasonal events and generally you’ll make friends along your journey that could help you. Count yourself as one of the lucky ones when you meet a business leader that is showing signs of wanting to collaborate on a project.

It’s rare you’ll strike up a partnership with a yin and yang kind of business which is the total opposite to yours. Something related to your business that makes the type of products you need for your product is the best kind of relationship to find. When you are meeting up, you can teach them some things you know about the product and or ways in which you utilize their product. They in turn will give you the chance to learn how to get the best out of their product or perhaps involve you in the design. You’re both teaching and learning so you can impart wisdom and gain it also. This kind of collaboration is what brilliant professional relationships are made of. For example, it could be a shipbuilding company that partners with a ship engine company, and they both figure out how and why they need each other.

Protecting Yourself with Knowledge

You never know just when the world is going to go through another economic crisis. Every business should do it’s utmost to see what kind of supply circle they are wrapped up in to see who they rely upon and who relies upon them. A very serious subject is the matter of self-preservation. No business ever does well when it is over-exposing itself to another. But you aren’t the Jack of all trades so where does this leave you? Pinpoint an area where you are the most reliant on another business to get something done. For example, you could be a food business, and you buy your tomato sauce from a specific company which has the right kind of product you want. It’s herby, buttery and very rich. What would happen to your product line if that company suddenly stopped supplying you with their sauce? What kind of countermeasures do you have in place that would stop your business from a harmful lack of sales?

When you collaborate, you have a magnifying glass shone on your weakest points. In the same scenario, could you possibly make a better sauce yourself? Do you have the funds and the facilities to do so? Okay, if you don’t who else could supply you with a similar quality sauce? When a company’s name comes to mind, ask yourself have you made ties with them yet? Have you talked to them about your business and possibly setting up a meeting to see if they will accept being a backup for you? How would they logistically go about delivering their product to you? There are so many questions you need to ask yourself and find ways to collaborate with a lot of different businesses and people to make sure your own business succeeds. This is the art of protecting yourself with the knowledge that you have gained from collaborating with many different companies and possibly even outside of your industry.

There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Every single successful business stays successful because it keeps refinding it’s processes and it does so by expanding its knowledge. Collaborating lets you see underneath the curtain, exposing your weakest points. Dropping your ego, you could make some fantastic products by partnering with another business. Go to SME events specifically. Here you will hear stories about other people’s mistakes and learn not to make them yourself. It’s like a watering hole of information and wisdom which you should be taking full advantage of. And the best thing of all, when you collaborate your employees become better increasing to a higher level of skill.

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