Five ways collaborations can build your business

When it comes to building your business and your profile no strategy is as powerful or as leveraged as collaborations. 

Partnering, aligning or joint venturing with another company or person for their skills, experience or influence can be one of the smartest moves you can make in business. 

Don’t believe me? Check out how collaborations could be boosting your bottom line – and not just with referrals. 

1. Increase your knowledge

Being able to brainstorm, discuss business challenges, draw on experience and ask questions of someone who has gone before you or is going along with you can be incredibly valuable. 

We all need a sounding board but we don’t always have the ability or resources to do this within our own businesses. Not to mention an independent, outside-looking-in viewpoint can give you the clarity you need to plan and prioritise appropriately. 

2. Win bigger deals

While you may be an expert in your field or offer a superior product, chances are your product or service is not the only one your customers and potential customers will need. 

Combining with other complimentary businesses and specialists can give you the ability to offer a full range of products and services with more specialised skills and benefits giving you a competitive edge when pitching for new business in an increasingly competitive market. 

3. Further your reach  

One of the biggest benefits of collaborating is the promotional opportunities that come out of it. From strong referral channels as your product or service becomes part of another business’ offering, to joint advertising and public relations opportunities across each other’s databases and beyond, it can give you the leverage you need to further your reach and generate some serious exposure for your business and personal profile. 

4. Create an additional source of income

Being able to on sell or package up other peoples products and services – without doing extra work can also give you an additional source of income and a wider scope of results. Customers are also more likely to come back or stay with you if you are offering multiple services that they don’t have to look elsewhere for. 

5. Save more money

Not only can collaborations bring money in, they can also save you money. It could be that you can share the same tools, promotional costs for campaigns, even offices and staff depending on your collaboration. 

The opportunities really are endless with the right collaboration partners.

Do you actively collaborate with other businesses? What are some ways you can give and get even more value from the relationship?


Five tips for building lasting, profitable strategic partnerships

When you are a business owner, particularly a small business owner, leverage is a key part of your success. The more you can leverage your own time, money, knowledge, resources and contacts and those of others, the quicker you can increase your capacity for growth. 

One of the most lucrative strategies in creating leverage in your business is to form strategic partnerships or alliances, with businesses that you share commonality with (normally customers). Forming these relationships can be quite easy – but maintaining them and keeping them profitable? That is not so simple.

To help you get the most out of your strategic partnerships here are five tips for building lasting, profitable, win/win relationships with fellow businesses.

1. Don’t just make it all about referrals

One of the keys to an effective strategic partnership is to make sure you are matched on multiple levels, in knowledge, customers and personality. To do this you need to take more than a transactional or referral approach to your relationship.

Look at other ways you can help and assist each other in business. Is it in sharing your experiences, doing joint promotions or even sharing common expenses? The moment you start seeing someone purely as a dollar sign, the value in the relationship reduces.

2. Stay in touch

The only way to stay at the forefront of someone’s mind is to increase the amount of meaningful touch points you have with them. 

You may like to theme your touch points, having one that is purely to see how they are going and if there is anything you can help them with or any way you can add value to them.  

Another touch point might be to comment or share one of their social media or blog posts. The next one might be give them a referral, a heads up about changes in the industry or even an interesting article you know would be of interest. This way each time you connect you are adding value.

3. Take an interest

Be genuinely interested in the person you are trying to build a relationship with. Find out what they are looking for and need within their business, who they want to connect with in terms of customers and other influencers and also get to know them on a personal level, what are their priorities and interests? 

All of this information will allow you to build rapport, establish common ground and find ways you can become valuable to them, whether it is through generating new business, value adding to their customers, providing information, products or services or a mix.

4. Do favours

Be generous with your time and knowledge. That’s not to say you have to give everything away for free, but be willing to go the extra mile with those you want to establish a truly lasting and profitable relationship with.

Become their sounding board, the trusted colleague they can come to with a challenge they need help with or an idea they need qualified. It can get lonely in business and sometimes you just need an outside perspective. If you can be that for someone else, and reward them with confidentiality, loyalty and sound advice, you will strengthen your business relationship to no end.

5. Ask for input

Don’t be afraid to ask for favours either. A good relationship is one that is a balance of give and take. The newer the relationship the smaller the favour, and as a good rule of thumb try to make sure they balance out. You don’t want to be the one who is always asking or the one who is always giving, so make sure the relationship is win/win for all involved.

What changes can you make to build more lasting, profitable strategic partnerships?


The collaboration checklist

When it comes to leveraging your time, money, contacts and resources you can’t beat the power of collaboration. Not only do strategic partnerships or alliances open you up to new contacts and opportunities, they can also help you value-add to customers and land larger accounts. 

But how do you find the right collaboration partners? This five-question collaboration checklist will help you find and evaluate strategic alliances so you can appeal to a wider target audience, attract larger clients and grow your business faster through collaboration.

1. Are you well aligned?

When it comes to building a close business relationship you need to be well aligned, not only in your level of skill and experience, but also in your personality, ethics and business vision. You need to be comfortable with referring your customers to them. If there is even the slightest doubt, address it early.

2. Do you share the same client base?

You want to collaborate with businesses your ideal customer will go to either before or after you. This way you not only supply each other with leads, but also value-add to each other’s customers and projects, share promotional costs, open up profitable promotional opportunities and can joint pitch for bigger accounts.

3. Have you done your due diligence?

When you are considering working with someone closely you need to do your research. What is their reputation like? Do they have the right credentials and licenses? Have you spoken to some of their customers? Do you know their strengths and weaknesses? Have you asked about their capacity? 

Remember you will be associating your brand with their brand and referring them customers. Their decision and actions (or lack their of) could impact on your customers and business. Make sure you’ve asked the right questions and have a strong level of trust in them.  

4. Do you have a value-add Plan B?

Business relationships, like any relationship aren’t fully equal 100% of the time. Know from the very beginning that sometimes one person will be referring more than the other. 

By openly accepting this fact you can build in a Plan B, like a commission on referrals, contra products or services or additional promotion throughout each other’s network at these times so you both feel that you are still receiving value from the collaboration.

5. Are you both equally committed?

Successful business arrangements happen when each party is equally committed and invested in the project. You both need to want the collaboration and see the value in it as much as the other, otherwise it will end up a win/lose arrangement or it will fizzle quickly into nothing.

Like any relationship you both need to be persistent, committed, invested and take the time to nurture your collaboration through communication – a quick weekly/fortnightly call to say “hey, how is everything in your world? Anything I can do to help?” doesn’t take a lot of effort; it can however generate you a strong collaboration and lot of business.

Do you collaborate in your business? How do you find the right partners?


Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google