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Collaboration – the secret of small business success

Why is collaboration important?

When you are running your own business, whether as a sole trader, freelancer or a SME, it is easy to think of yourself and your business as only being about your specific skill set or core offering. For example, it is easy for marketers to think only about marketing, recruitment consultants to think only about getting clients and filling roles and developers to only think about code. The reality of the situation is that there is much more to your business, even when it is just you, than your core product offering.

Free yourself to focus on what you enjoy

A business needs various skills to work, for example you will need to do your back office tasks such as administration, payroll and tax. You might need to market and advertise your business, or perhaps pitch new clients. These tasks can take you away from the work you are good at and may be areas that you personally are not strong in or enjoy doing. The solution that many businesses use is collaboration.

Many freelancers and sole traders turn to bookkeeping, back office and accountancy companies, to look after the financial side of their business. This means that they do not have any cash flow surprises and they can focus on doing what they enjoy. Are you offering a high quality product but simply not generating enough sales to keep you afloat? Then you might want to consider teaming up with marketers, PR professionals, advertisers and creative’s to ensure your message is getting across to potential customers loud and clear.

Working together with other individuals or companies to create a smoothly functioning business means that you can offer both a solid product and a high standard of service.

Join together to grow and expand

Collaboration between small businesses often reaps mutual benefit, as they work together to ensure each other’s success. By allowing someone else to deal with the tasks you don’t have time to do, you are providing another company business and allowing both of you to grow and expand.

Internal collaboration and tools for success

Collaboration also has a part to play within a business. Good communication of ideas along with developing an understanding and respect for individual roles and contributions makes for smoother business and a more professional appearance. A business that works well together, succeeds together and even if you are remote from the other areas of your company, modern communication tools including; VOIP, instant messaging, cloud computing and social conferencing, mean that you can instantly access various projects and work together to ensure success.

Where can I find collaborators for my business?

So where do you find people or businesses to collaborate with, especially if you are a sole trader or freelancer? One of the best ways to find potential business partnerships and collaborators is to look online but even better is personal recommendation from someone in your network. Many companies and individuals offer services, on an ongoing or ad-hoc basis, that can support your business and boost your trading capacity. You can get stunning websites, press releases and content, designed, written and built, by other freelancers and small businesses, many of whom are available to hire at very reasonable rates.

You could also purchase services such as marketing, back office, administration, bookkeeping, accountancy and virtual PA work though a variety of small online companies. Alternatively check out your local directory or visit networking events to see if there are companies or individuals in your local area, with whom through collaboration you could build mutual success.

Collaboration is the key

Whatever size of business or enterprise you are involved in, collaboration is key to allowing each part of your company to operate effectively. By collaborating with others both inside and outside your company, you can build a strong sense of unity and free yourself up to focus on the parts of the business that you enjoy.