10 Steps To a Healthier Business - Collaboration

Sometimes, running your business feels like an individual sport, like its YOU vs. a full team of challenges, such as cash flow, building repairs, advertising, customer retention, and order fulfillment just to name a few. This can produce a heavy burden for entrepreneurs, but there can be a way to lighten the load; collaboration can be that tool.

I don’t mean collaboration with your business team, which can be a way to assist you; I am talking about collaborating with other small business owners. These small business owners can be across the street, across town, across the state, or even across the ocean. Collaboration allows business owners to see they are not the only entrepreneur facing challenges; others have a similar experience. These can be businesses in a similar industry or one that is totally different.

Here are a few reasons WHY you should think about collaborating with other small businesses:

  1. Collaboration can be educational. Working with another entrepreneur on a common challenge will provide you with a learning experience. Each of you brings unique skills, backgrounds, and business experiences to the table. This can be hard for entrepreneurs, especially when you are the king or queen in your domain, but there will be an opportunity for learning.
  2. Collaboration can inspire you. Running a business tends to lead to putting your head down and plowing forward. This can lead to a narrow viewpoint, called tunnel vision. Maybe there is a new way of doing things that you just haven’t seen. Working with another business could open your eyes to new methods and systems that could benefit your business.
  3. Collaboration builds your network of allies. We all need help at some point in our entrepreneurial lives. When you work 9 to 5, you have natural colleagues. As an entrepreneur, you have colleagues; they just operate businesses around the globe. Build your network through collaboration. You’ll never know when your network will be useful to your business endeavors.
  4. Collaboration connects you to new customers. Each business has a base of customers. When you collaborate with another business, you expose each other’s customer base to a new business. Expanding your customer base, all while solving a problem through collaboration, sounds like a win-win to me.

These are just a few reasons why collaborating with other businesses should be one of your goals this year. There are too many to list here.

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