In small business, we like to think that we can do it alone.
Sometimes that’s possible, but teaming up with others can sometimes form the ultimate perfect match.
1. A great match can equal great reach
Teaming up with another business with skills, products or services that complement your own can mean you reach a larger audience than you could on your own.
In tendering for projects, often a group of businesses will join forces so that all the requirements of the tender can be met.
This way there is a greater chance of winning the tender as all aspects of the project can be completed. Sometimes large jobs require a commitment beyond one business so it’s only possible if shared with others.
2. Builds trusted relationships
It’s always great to have a friend in business.
Forming business alliances based on a win-win scenario can allow trust to develop from working together, which leads to referrals and further business.
Many network referral groups encourage developing alliances for just this reason.
3. Allows you to learn more
Bringing more minds, experience and different perspectives to a business can provide excellent learning that will help you run your business better.
Recently I collaborated with another business in a shared webinar, and we both learnt different things about the technology as we shared our experiences.
I may have learned these lessons on my own, but it happened a lot quicker by sharing information.
4. Opens up opportunities
Working with others can always provide more opportunities than working alone.
You get double the opportunities coming your way, and you never know where it might lead your business.
Look for opportunities to team up with suppliers, complementary businesses, and even competitors in some cases.
5. Provides a sounding board
Forming business alliances means that you have access to others who understand your business. They just ‘get’ you.
This can be helpful to bounce ideas off other business leaders, discuss tricky situations or get a fresh perspective on something.
Some tips for forming successful alliances:
- Team up with businesses that share the same values and ethics in business as you do
- Make sure that you can both add value to each other’s business
- Choose a business that has different skills or products to you, but that are complementary
- Check that you both like to communicate in the same way. There is nothing more frustrating if you are a face-to-face communicator and the person you are trying to communicate with likes SMS
- Approach the alliance in a positive way
- Ensure that there are benefits for both parties by joining forces
- Review the alliance on a regular basis to ensure it still works for both parties