In the early days of any business, and indeed the latter days too, there are a great many relationships but one of the most important is with your collaborators. What are collaborators and why are they so important?
The World is changing. Over the last few years UK PLC has wanted to create a Britain which stimulates business growth and makes it the easiest place in the world to start a business. And easy it has become with more than half a million new companies starting up each year. Portfolio careers are becoming the norm, and online communication is making it much easier for us to find clients even when are services are so niche.
But no man is an island and we need still the support of others to help our businesses grow and flourish.
One of the easiest ways to do this is through collaboration.
What is Collaboration?
Collaborating is working together on projects and businesses without the formal structure of a company in place. Some examples of a collaborative approach to work might be:
- A web designer and a social media consultant working together to deliver a digital marketing strategy for the same client.
- Two independent business coaches working together to deliver multiple staff workshops
- Business owners who meet up regularly just to share the challenges and problems they face as business owners.
There are many more examples of collaboration.
This might seem little bit like teaching you to suck eggs but how well do you really understand the importance of these collaborative relationships?
How important is Collaboration for a Small Business?
These relationships are fundamental to the growth and development of your business. You will often find that these people are your best source of sales and referrals. They are the people that help you solve your problems and challenges. They act as confidants, trusted advisors, sounding boards and your sales force.
When you understand these relationships you can make the best of them.
Top Three Tips for Authentic Collaborative Relationships
Understand who your collaborators are – they may not always be the people who you immediately have business synergy with but it may be people you can work alongside effectively.
Assess their values – by understanding your potential collaborators values you’ll be able to manage the relationship for the longer term.
Know their motivation – Put yourself in your collaborators shoes. What are they looking for, how can you help their journey. The strength of your relationship will come as you help one another.
A collaborator relationship is one of your most important as you start out. Where the relationship could lead… who knows? What is important is that it is two way.
I’m Paul Aisthorpe, Business Coach and Mentor with Imaginative Coaching.