Lunch at the Outback: How a Collaboration Grows Your Business

The business world is always changing, and so are the ways companies do business. Collaboration is one of those trends that we’ll continue to see in the future. In fact, it has been the cornerstone of many businesses for years now. Though it might sound intimidating at first, working with other businesses on projects and ideas can be a hugely beneficial process for any company. Not only does collaborating allow you to team up with people who can bring something new to your business, but it also helps you expand your network and reach new audiences.

I had a certain client whom I had lunch with at the outback to discuss possible DBA’s for her business. I was greatly impressed by her dedication to her work and her clear vision for the future. We discussed a plan to approach other designers, and I got in touch with several of them to see if they could collaborate with us. It was a good strategy, and I am confident that her business will grow through these partnerships. She is already seeing her new business start to turn a profit and I am confident that she will be very successful in the future.

Whether you’re interested in working with another company as an equal partner, or just want to get their insight on something you’re creating, these six tips will help you start a collaboration that benefits both parties:

1. Find a company whose skills complement yours

Prior to deciding to begin a formal partnership with a business, it’s critical to identify one whose skills complement your own. Be wary of companies who want to build a partnership, but aren’t able to offer anything in return. Collaborating with a company that wants to learn from your business and has something to offer in return will make the partnership beneficial for both parties. Find a company whose business is centered on connecting with clients, for instance, if your project entails user testing and feedback. This will make it possible for you to create a partnership where there is an exchange of new knowledge and improvement of existing processes.

2. Find a business with whom you can build long-term relationships

As I previously mentioned, you need to select a firm whose competencies compliment your own before you can establish a long-term relationship. This is crucial if you’re working with a corporation that possesses expertise that you don’t. Long-term partnerships will make future collaborations much simpler for you. Additionally, you’ll have a network of business contacts you can work with in the future if you need help. Discovering your common ground is key to finding businesses with whom you can develop long-term connections. Find out what they are interested in once you’ve identified those whose skills you require. You can discover a business with whom you can establish a long-term relationship by reading their blogs and social media posts, as well as learning about their mission and vision.

3. Decide what you’ll collaborate on, how, and by when

Before you begin collaborating with another business, you must decide on three things: what you will work together on, the medium, and by when. You can work together on a variety of projects; it doesn’t have to be a one-time endeavor. Using a collaboration tool like Trello or Basecamp greatly helps in project management and tracking tasks for both you and your collaborators. It’s likely that working on a project with a company will involve a lot of communication, so choose a tool that will work for you and your partners.

4. Set mutually agreeable goals

You should establish goals you can mutually agree upon with your company partner before beginning your first assignment. You should be sure to define goals for how you want to measure your performance in addition to your primary goal, which may be to create content or conduct research for a project. For instance, if you’re working on a project to produce new content for your website, you should establish a target for the number of new subscribers the content will bring in. This will not only make it easier for you to monitor your progress, but also enable you to produce results that will increase your company’s value.

5. Commit to the collaboration and follow through

Make a commitment to the partnership and carry it out once you’ve found a business partner and chosen a project to work on together. Make sure your partners are aware of their duties and responsibilities as well as yours. For instance, if you’re working with a marketing firm to boost the content on your website, be sure they concentrate only on content creation. By doing this, you can prevent other projects from getting shoved into the project and make it run more smoothly.

6. Write up an agreement and set expectations

Once the collaboration is done, make sure to write up an agreement and set expectations for what happens next. If a business partner wants to continue to work with you, make sure to have a conversation about their future involvement. You don’t have to decide whether the collaboration will continue at this moment, but you should come to an agreement about what both parties expect from each other. This will help you keep the partnership from ending and will allow you to build stronger relationships with your collaborators.

how collaboration grows your business

No matter the size or industry of the organization, collaborations can be extremely beneficial. Collaborating will enable you to add fresh perspectives and competencies to your organization, whether you choose to work with an individual or another business. Prior to starting a collaborative project, be sure the company has skills that are similar to your own. Find a company with which you can later develop a long-lasting relationship. Finally, choose a process, commit to working together, and carry out an agreement.