First Steps to Starting a Business Collaboration
If you are looking to start a business collaboration, it can be difficult to understand where to begin. Collaboration between businesses can be game-changing as it can help build brand awareness, increase lead generation, cut costs, enrich your content, and bring in new skills. The hardest part about collaborations is how to develop them!
WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO ACHIEVE?
The first step to starting a business collaboration is determining what you want out of it. Do you want a long-term partnership? A one-off collab? Is the collaboration an informal agreement or a formal strategic alliance with paperwork and contracts? It is key to determine the business objectives you would like to achieve as it will define the tasks you and your partner will take on.
WHO DO YOU WANT TO COLLABORATE WITH?
The next step is deciding who you want to collaborate with. Look towards businesses that you share values and goals with. You will not only enjoy working together, but your marketing efforts will also be more effective if you have the same target audience. Don’t be afraid to do some research on potential partners to see if you would complement each other.
TIME TO MAKE CONTACT.
There are a million ways to contact potential collaboration partners but here are just a few that you can implement right away.
1. Connect via social media
Social media is a great way to connect with whomever you like. Follow your ideal collaboration partner on their socials and engage in a meaningful way. Once you have built a connection, consider sending them a message about yourself, what you like about their business, and the opportunities you can create by working together.
2. join groups and communities
You can connect with other business owners and industry leaders through professional organisations and online forum groups. Members of these groups and communities are interested in sharing tips, advice, strategies, goals, and more. Being a part of these groups will expose you to in-person and online networking events and gives you a space to connect with like-minded individuals.
3. join flexible workspace/coworking space
Flexible and coworking spaces are collaboration hubs as they have several entrepreneurs, SMEs, startups, and enterprises sharing the same space. Striking up a conversation with a business owner at a flexible workspace is made simple as you share the same facilities and amenities. For example, Kelvin Pearson from the Men’s Legal Service and Terry de Luca from Counselling Solutions ACT found each other through working at Victory Offices. From sharing a cup of tea in the breakroom together, a business collaboration was born. They had similar interests in helping with family law matters and found that by working together they could benefit from one another’s expertise. Moreover, the free networking events at flexible workspaces encourage members to get to know each other even further and to cultivate a community for business collaborations.
Business collaborations are one of the most cost-effective and valuable ways to grow your business. They take a lot of effort and attention to manage so it is important to choose your collaboration partner wisely and to identify your business objectives from the beginning. Once you have your business collaboration, remember to nurture the relationship, and ensure you are mutually benefitting from it.