Matt is back with a brand new edition… a new blog… talking about just that… Collaboration.
I have found in my business life that more success occurs when people collaborate. Think about it for a second. It makes sense. More people = more ideas. More ideas = more stimulation. More people generally also means more possibility of taking action. Collaboration is where the rubber meets the road. It’s, in many cases, where you can dream up that great big idea, and bring it to life.
As business owners, we are often on the go, many times not even pausing for a moment during the day to take a deep breath and smell the fresh air of life around us. When you collaborate with others, including industry partners, you begin to smell the roses!
Recently we were involved in a bid process where we received the same bid as one of our partners. Now, to quickly define for you, our partners tend to be IT professionals, marketing professionals, or small boutique graphic design firms. In this case, we were sent the same bid by the company that one of our marketing partners received. During the bidding (and not knowing that we both received it) we both bid our standard rates. Our partner was going to be awarded the bid, however the partner immediately realized that a large insurance policy was required in order to win the bid. They reached out to us to partner again and we became the lead organization. We are totally fine with partnering up on projects, as it becomes a clear win/win for everyone involved. Our partner gets some business, we get some business, and the client gets exactly what they were looking for in the first place!
Collaboration isn’t rocket science. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. You have to find the right fit for you and that can take some time. It certainly takes work. It won’t happen overnight, and you have to continue to work on the collaboration with others so that both parties feel like it’s a win/win. Note that collaboration doesn’t mean one way. Both parties have to gain something out of it, although that isn’t always money; in some cases that could be a time savings to one of the parties. Be sure to stay connected on a regular basis, no less than quarterly. If you don’t hear from your partner, then reach out. Don’t always wait for them to initiate contact. Remember that the work it takes needs to go both ways.
Results matter! As with anything in business, you need to measure the results of your partnerships and collaborations with others. Tracking where your referrals come from is a good start, and you should evaluate your partnerships annually to be sure that they are still working.
Seek out new partners! If you enjoy collaborating with others, but you are not getting a ton of leads or work opportunities, then seek out some additional partners, but don’t overextend yourself. Some of our partners give us opportunities to work with them on a monthly basis, others are once per quarter, and still others are once per year. It all depends on the type of business you are in, who you are partnering with, and how active in the business world they are, as well as how much they trust you in the collaboration arrangement.
Bottom line…collaboration works, but it takes time and effort! If you are willing to put in the time and effort the rewards are there. I know… not only am I the President but I am also a collaborator!
If you are interested in collaborating with our awesome team here at inConcert (I know, I am biased) then please contact me. I would love to have a discussion with you and hear your thoughts!