At Projects, we believe beautiful things happen when we work together. Our members are entrepreneurs and small business owners with big ambitions to grow their businesses and scale their ideas quickly – one of the most effective ways to do this (without huge outlays of budget and resources) is through collaboration. How, you ask? Let’s take a look.
How can Collaboration Help Your Business?
Get new clients The simplest way that collaboration can help your business is through referrals. By getting to know businesses in a space-related to your own, and building trust with them, you can pass clients between you. For example, if you’re a graphic designer and you have a strong collaborative relationship with a social media manager, next time they’re working with a client in need of good visuals they will most likely send them your way. Similarly, next time you’re working with a client that you’ve designed amazing visuals for that’s not making enough impact with them on their social channels, you know whose number to give them.
Increase your team (without paying salaries) Scaling up usually means more people-power. The issue with that is that it also means paying salaries, which means tax and pensions and all sorts of other complications. For a small business, that can not only be prohibitively expensive but might be a commitment you’re not ready to make. Do you know if you’ll still need someone six months from now if you only have a project guaranteed for the next two months? Maybe you need a variety of different skills at different times, and you can’t keep them all on the payroll. The solution is to team up. Find great consultants in that space and hire them on a freelance or contract basis. Suddenly your business offers a variety of new services but you haven’t had to take on staff until you’re confident they’re right for your direction in the long term.
Share resources Stuff is expensive, especially if you only need it as a one-off. By teaming up with other businesses relevant to your own you can share all that stuff and share the costs. For example, if you’re exhibiting at a trade fair, you could get a stall together to divide the cost and increase your visitors by having two businesses in one place to attract attendees. If you need a fancy piece of software that costs more than your monthly rent, you might be able to use another business’ in exchange for a go on one of your own tools or a bit of your wisdom. When you’re in a coworking space surrounded by other businesses, you can pretty much guarantee someone will have the exact bit of kit you need.
Widen your reach By talking publicly about collaborations (whether that’s on your social channels, your blog, your email newsletter, at events, or anywhere else you can think of), both companies vastly increase their reach because they’re not only talking to their own audience but to their collaborator’s as well. If their audience are established customers, this also creates trust signals – their audience trusts them, so when they talk positively about you their audience will be inclined to trust you by association and be more eager to do business with you.
Get more for your money Trying to negotiate deals on buying stock or resources can be tricky when you’re a small fish. By teaming up with another business in your space, you can buy at a higher volume and therefore get a better deal. And be taken more seriously, which usually means preferential treatment and whatever sweet perks you can get your hands on.
Team up Many of our members reach a point where they’re tired of doing it alone. If you meet someone who is on a similar journey with a similar mission to your own, you might want to get together. Getting yourself a cofounder doubles your people-power, doubles your opportunities and doubles your drive.
Open your mind Collaborating can be as easy as sharing ideas. Being part of a coworking space gives you the opportunity to be part of discussions about what people are up to, their dreams and visions and how they’re working on getting there. Who knows what that might spark in your brain. Discovering new ideas and new ways of working could transform your approach to your business and your offering, or could give you a solution to that problem you’ve been stuck on. Take as many opportunities as you can to chat with your fellow entrepreneurs and see where the conversation takes you.
At Projects, we’re dedicated to helping our members make the connections and build the relationships they need to grow their businesses. If you’ve got big plans and a passion for making them a reality, book a trial day with us and see who you meet that might be able to help you on your journey.