Tips to help you focus on creative collaboration

Collaboration is Multiplication!

It is rightly said by Steve Jobs, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people”.

A single genius that works alone is a myth of yesterday.

“You cannot be creative alone”. Isolated individuals are not creative. Creativity is more about relationships than any sudden flash of genius. Today, the biggest breakthroughs happen when networks of people with a collective vision join together and share ideas, information, and work.

Collaboration has recently emerged as the defining characteristic of creativity and growth in nearly all sectors across business, science and every other area of life.

“Collaboration is vital to every business,” said Bernstein, founder and CEO of B2B social networking platform WinWin. “There are so many opportunities out there for businesses to work together to exchange ideas and increase purchasing power.”

Bernstein based WinWin on what he calls the “neighbor principle” — you go to your neighbor to borrow some milk because you’re out. The next day, when it snows, you bring your snow blower down the hill to help him. When this idea is applied to small businesses, companies can leverage each other’s strengths at little or no cost to grow both of their businesses.

Collaboration is really worth the time and effort, here are few reasons why you should care about collaboration in your business.

1. Collaboration is Inspirational.

While you can read blogs, magazines, and books for inspiration, if you are not communicating, sharing, and discussing that information, the benefits are limited. It is vital to get outside of your own head in order to get a fresh perspective, trigger your creativity, review incoming information objectively, and add new contexts to the data you are gathering so you can use it effectively.

2. Collaboration helps you grow your network.

Successful entrepreneurs have a common interest in meeting new people and building a list of contacts and colleagues. Being successful in business requires that you consistently make connections and form alliances.  While every contact you make may not result in collaboration, but you are expanding your network.

3. Collaboration is Education.

One of the benefits of collaboration is the opportunity for learning. Infact, every interaction you have with someone outside of your immediate circle can teach you something valuable. Some of the most successful collaborations involve two professionals who bring two very different skill sets, perspectives, and strengths to the table. When this happens, you are certain to be surrounded by learning opportunities.

Few tips to help you focus on creative collaboration:

1. Getting Social – A fast and effective way to collaborate with complementary businesses is to plan a blog tour. This works when you get several business owners to allow you to post content on their blog with your byline. They also do the same on your blog.

Using these ways to collaborate with other businesses, you’ll increase awareness, make more contacts, and grow faster.

2. Hosting events If you are a B2B company and want to convey your credentials as thought leaders in your industry, why not host a conference?

You can use the event to educate your industry, or you can get a lot of people together in your industry to educate your customers. Either way, you’ll create contacts that will help your business grow exponentially. Pot lunches, awards, games, and conferences such events helps you achieve objectives and goals.

3. Forming Joint Ventures – Once you get to know people within your industry, look at ways you can work together on short-term or long-term projects. Often even in situations where you are competition to each other, you can find a project to work on together to make an impact and to grow your business.

4. Sharing or renting space One-Way to collaborate with another business is to use their space. For example, if you sell jewelry that you make (or anything for that matter), you can ask local stores to allow you to set up a pop-up store. Then, in exchange, you market your pop-up as well as their store.

5. Referrals or featuring each other – Another way to collaborate with another business is to find a way to feature each other. This works best with businesses that aren’t direct competition to yours. For example, if you’re an event planner, you can work with a print shop for invitations and a certain rental place, and so forth. In exchange, they will also recommend you as their party planner.

6. Joining a Coworking Space People are making their work places more collaborative within their companies, and also breaking the borders by joining other companies in an effort not only to reduce expenses, but also to create a more dynamic, creative and happy workplace. Coworking has proven to be a collaborative approach for small businesses and it has improved the professional and personal lives of thousands of people around the world, integrating them in professional networks that have improved their business.

We find more and more opportunities to have a better life thanks to collaboration, both in the personal and professional arenas. Thanks to this, a lot of people are finding and creating their ideal environment and working for themselves – but not alone.

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