Four Key Reasons Entrepreneurs Should Collaborate
By: Melanie Shires, PCC
As an entrepreneur whose business is founded on the principal of intention and entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs, I am a huge advocate of collaboration and know how powerful a tool it is. Collaboration is the cornerstone of business development and growth, particularly for entrepreneurs. This has been proven from the work I’ve done with the student start-ups and ventures I mentor at ASU as well as COLLABORATORY clients.
Regardless of the industry you are in or the type of business you have, being a part of a collaborative or incorporating collaboration in your business development strategy will help you grow and take your business to new levels. Here are four key reasons entrepreneurs should collaborate.
1. Spark Inspiration
We all know it is easy to get into a routine during the day-to-day operations of business and forget that there may be a better way to do something, different strategies to try, and new tools that can save time and money.
While blogs, magazines, and books are good resources to provide inspiration, if you are not communicating, sharing, and discussing the information you are obtaining, 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. Collaborating with others to help you go beyond what you do and see each day to challenge you think and implement ideas in a new way can be highly inspiring and rewarding.
2. Opportunity for Learning
One of the biggest benefits of collaboration is the opportunity for learning. In fact, every interaction you have with someone outside of your immediate circle can teach you something valuable. Some of the most successful collaborations involve different people bringing very diverse skill sets, perspectives, and strengths to the collaborative. When this happens, you are certain to be surrounded by learning opportunities.
3. Expanding Your Network
Successful entrepreneurs have a common interest in meeting new people and building a list of contacts and colleagues that they can share ideas with and learn from. Being successful in business requires that you consistently make connections and form alliances. Imagine how stagnant your business would become if you continued to network with the same group of people.
While every contact you make may not result in collaboration, every time you reach out to someone to explore the possibility, you are expanding your circle of influence.
4. Finding Solutions to Problems
There is an undeniable power in numbers. If one person can't accomplish something on his or her own, two or three or more people may be able to get it done.
Think about the last difficult problem you faced in your business. When we get stumped, most of us immediately go to a partner, mentor, or other trusted resource who acts as a sounding board and helps us work through the problem. The harder the problem is to solve, the more we can benefit from getting the input of someone outside of the situation. And when you add new viewpoints and experiences to the mix, the result will often transcend what you originally set out to accomplish.
There are many ways you can incorporate collaboration into your business. Joining networking or meetup groups designated to your specific industry or business type is a good place to start.
Check out CO-LAB & Coffee and Coaches Lounge to experience first-hand how my entrepreneurial communities encourage and celebrate collaboration among entrepreneurs to learn, share and grow their business.