The phrase “putting our heads together” is a good descriptor of a must-have element in business – collaboration. Simply put, collaboration is an arrangement in which two or more parties (that may, or may not, have a previous relationship) work jointly toward a common goal.
Businesses that work collaboratively often utilize the four Rs of smart business: resources, responsibilities, recognition and rewards. They’re able to acquire more information, make joint decisions and solve problems that help both parties, and reap benefits not easily achieved by alone. Studies have found that collaboration can increase achievement and productivity. Plus, collaboration doesn’t necessarily require significant time or financial investment.
A couple of well-known collaborations are in our backyard:
- Betty Crocker (General Mills) partnered with Hershey’s to include chocolate syrup in its signature brownie recipe.
- Target partnered with Askov Finlayson, the Minneapolis-based outdoor clothing designer, just in time for the 2018 Super Bowl.
In fact, there are several members in our Chamber that have teamed up to save time and money. When talking to these business owners, collaborations include joint advertising, partnering in events, and working together to offer products and services that couldn’t be done solo.
So, what are the benefits? As reported in the Small Business article, 5 Reasons Collaboration Can Help You Grow Your Business:
Collaboration will inspire you. Going beyond what you do and see each day can be inspiring and help you to think in a new way. Talk to others to gain a fresh perspective, trigger creativity and review information differently.
Collaboration helps grow your network. Successful businesses set out to meet new people and build a list of contacts and colleagues. They consistently make connections and form alliances to use in the future.
Collaboration is educational. Every interaction with someone outside of your immediate circle can teach you something valuable. Talk to a variety of people, they bring different skill sets, perspectives and strengths to the table.
Collaboration can save money. Many relationships involve splitting knowledge, hands-on work and, sometimes, expenses. If the collaboration involves sharing development and marketing expenses, you can double your budget while reducing costs.
Collaboration solves problems. There’s strength in numbers. If one business can’t accomplish a goal on its own, bringing in others may result in solutions and human resources to get it done.
Bottom line (literally and figuratively), I encourage you to turn to your fellow Chamber members and other businesses in Elko New Market to see how collaboration can bring added value to your business.