Collaboration means many things, but in its most basic sense, collaboration is where you talk to someone else, share ideas, resources, problems, and implement changes. It can be just talking to someone else that triggers this. But the idea is to improve your business, and get to where your trying to go, quicker, and maybe smarter. I have broken it down into 5 key things that I think you could be doing, to help elevate what your trying to do.
1: Inspiration – Not to be too woolly here, but inspiration can massively help the direction of travel a business has. For me it evokes creative thoughts, and allows you the owner, or if your in a senior position in a business, to think, and to stretch your thoughts on what you can achieve. It can helps you realise that more can be done, or that you can do something you have been pursing. It’s an energy that carries a tremendous force in the business and can be powerful.
2: Solve problems – Ever heard that a problem shared is problem solved? You may not agree, but talking to someone else who is also in your space can massively help reduce the time you spend on a problem, as you will not be the first person to have dealt with that issue. Spending time on problems that have been solved over over by someone else, will change your mind on how to tackle them. I recently spoke with someone who works in the same space for an hour, we shared a problem, and we both left with information on how to best tackle the issue. It’s not the only way, but this simple idea, of sharing a problem, can you help you over come the bottle necks in your business, and help you spend time on the business not in it.
3: Save Money – What you don’t see you can’t save right? WRONG! Saving money is always something every business can do better with, as we all waste money. I have family in Ireland who are dairy farmers, and neighbouring farmers are beginning to share resources like tractors as they are realising that this machine is only used for some of the time and the cost to purchase and maintain is so high, it makes no sense to all have one. This type of collaboration is helping farmers in rural Ireland save money that directly comes of the bottom line. You might not be able to directly save, but unless you consider what in your business could be shared, you won’t know.
4: Educational – Learning from the mistakes or successes of others can add tremendous value to whatever your up to. This is not about copying, or implementing the same system, but it could be. Either way, sometimes someone else has tried several ways to do something, and why re-invent the learning wheel when you can implement a tried and proven strategy?
5: Grow your network – It’s not rocket science really. Meet new people, either on your level, higher than you or not, but meeting new people and growing your network is powerful, sometimes today, or in the future. It can also be a great way to bench mark ideas, against your peers in an informal way, in a safe environment, from someone who understand the challenges on you as a business. My only personal experience of growing my network, allows you to position yourself and your niche, for all the right reasons.
Collaboration is many things. It can have many faces, and why one person collaborates maybe different to another. You don’t need to have a fixed idea on how you will collaborate with someone, as it can be as basic as a conversation over coffee. Once you realise the benefit, you will be fashioning up ways in which you can strategically collaborate with other business’s as it will add massive value to your efforts. Try it, ask someone who you think is cool, admire, or share a space with, have a chat over coffee, and see what happens.
But be sure to tell me the outcome!