Most people have heard the old saying that two heads are better than one. While this is a commonly used axiom, it still rings true today in virtually every aspect of life, especially in business. Some of the most successful business ventures have come from entrepreneurs collaborating with other individuals, businesses or corporations.
Whether it’s face to face collaboration, mobile collaboration, short term collaboration or a long-term partnership, collaborating is a recipe for success so long as the environment is conducive for it. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to collaborate and maximize not only your potential, but the potential of other people to enhance a business or business opportunity, here are a few things you want to keep in mind.
You Can’t do it All Anymore
The first thing that you’ll need to do to foster the spirit of collaboration is to get yourself in the right frame of mind. You may have come from a business background where you did everything. You were relied upon for marketing, accounting and managing. While you may have worn all these hats and were able to do a respectable job, when collaborating you have to lose the mentality that you can do it all, even if you can. If you don’t allow others to collaborate with you, the best plans will amount to nothing and your efforts will end in disaster.
Who do You Trust
Another thing that is important in order to maximize collaboration between yourself and another entity is to have a certain level of trust. It stands to reason that trust is one of the biggest impediments to open and free collaboration between two interested parties. The reason for this distrust in collaboration is fear. People are leery of introducing a potentially new and successful idea for fear that someone will steal it. However, if there is a deeply rooted trust in the collaboration, not in an individual idea alone, concerns over stolen ideas will be less of an issue.
Giving Up the Power
One last issue that needs to be addressed before the benefits of a successful collaboration can be realized is for both parties to understand that things may not be quite like they were before the collaboration initiative. It is inevitable that there will be a reduction in power and in influence when two parties come together to collaborate in a unified business venture. This is especially true when entrepreneurs collaborate with large corporations. There is typically a fair amount of give and take from all involved parties when it comes to responsibility, authority and power over business decisions and the direction of the business venture.
Getting on the Same Page
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects that collaboration faces isn’t necessarily with the mindset of the people involved in the collaboration is much as it is having a clear vision and a clear understanding of what is being collaborated on. Practical reasoning would say that if two entities come together to collaborate on a specific project or business venture they would be like-minded in their goals.
While that is preferred, it doesn’t always begin that way. Before any significant collaboration can happen, the involved parties, whether individuals, teams of employees or corporations, need to come to an agreement on the common objectives that should be pursued in the collaboration.
Posed for Success
The benefit to these collaborations can be seen throughout business history. There is nothing new about corporations or individuals banding together in a joint effort to follow down a particular business path. Companies, individuals as well as individual departments in a larger corporation have all proved that collaboration works and can succeed tremendously to reshape a business or reshape an entire industry.
This is especially true when economic times are difficult. That is why in today’s business industry, collaboration can help a business not only survive, but collaboration can help a business expand and grow and pioneer new ideas and new business models, even in the most difficult economic times.
If you’re an individual, such as an entrepreneur, but you’re looking for people that can maximize a business model or a business idea you have, then you need to actively look for interested parties to partner and collaborate with. Once you have taken the time to find the right people to collaborate with and proper steps have been taken to ensure that everyone is on the same page, you can expect that every possible resource available in that collaboration will be utilized to make your business venture a success.
Stephen Joseph runs a freelance writing business in Seattle, Washington and he specializes in writing for small businesses.