Teaming up with other businesses, including your competitors, doesn’t translate as handing over part of your business. Collaboration is one of the best strategic moves your small business can make.
Many of startups and micro-businesses love to run everything individualistic, without relying on anyone. What they don’t realize is, it creates restrictions that hinder their business growth.
Collaboration is a way of networking. You create new business alliances, and your products/services get larger customer base.
Also, when you have a collaboration with a larger company or business than yours, it makes your smaller brand pride and prestige in the larger one. Think of it as capitalizing on their large size, for your brand’s benefit.
How to get meaningful collaboration for your business growth
Find a common interest that your businesses share. For example, if you are offering internet marketing services; probably hosting reseller services from a larger and reliable hosting company can become a good service for your clients.
- One-stop shop
Retailers make one of the best collaboration partners. But it’s important to know how to table a win-win situation before approaching them.
Say, you run a cafe. You could collaborate with a bakery that has its reputation within your target locality, and partner to sell their same products alongside yours. Alternatively, as a cafe owner, you could promote your suppliers by offering special prices for meals made using ingredients sourced from the supplier. In this way, you can negotiate for better discount rates.
Another scenario would be a grocery store. Maybe a collaboration with a restaurant for a steady supply of blended vegetables for soups and sauces would be a great option. The cafe owner won’t just purchase groceries but can have sauces ingredients readily done.
If you run a photography and filming business. Collaboration would be possible with event planners, printshop, tour operators, etc. You could offer them heavily discounted photo sessions for their adverts and social media posts, and they could tag you on their social media platforms as well as have your opt-in weblink placed on their emails!
What to watch out for when looking for Collaboration
Don’t make mistakes of assuming without an actual contract. Especially, when money is involved. Your contract ought to stipulate the duration and terms of collaboration
Also, don’t accept an email list of potential customers from your collaborator. Reason is: you didn’t source them from your own opt-in form. If you do, that’s illegal
Anyone on your contact list, ought to have been made aware in the first place about your collaboration with the other business, and not get caught up by surprise.
Collaboration makes advertising your business easier. It gives you a chance to explore new dimensions of the same business line, without having to incur extreme expenses. You are only limited by your imagination.