Strengthening your business through collaboration

So much of my education and early career focussed on outdoing your competitors – analysing in-depth what your competition is doing, how they are doing it and how you can do it better.

While we need to be aware of trends in our industry, I believe we each need to follow our own truth. Why are we in business? What is our purpose? Looking inwardly at ourselves and outwardly at our customers rather than getting caught up with what the competition down the road is up to. Being original and innovative, even disruptive (in the nicest possible way).

I don’t necessarily look at every other consultant I meet as a potential competitor. Rather, if I feel a connection with them, if our values are aligned, my mind turns towards how we might collaborate and make each other stronger. Many of us are going it alone in our businesses. It’s a heavy burden to bear. It can be isolating and exhausting.

So next time you have a great idea, but don’t necessarily have the capacity, capability or energy to pursue it alone you might like to consider:

• partnering with players in your industry that either come before or after you in the supply chain. For example, an independent grocer partnering with local, organic farmers and transport companies to provide fresh produce directly to the customer’s door (thus linking growing, transportation, packaging and delivery of local produce) or

• partnering with complementary providers to expand your combined offering and capability. Multi-modality natural health clinics, providing acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, nutritional medicine and remedial massage are a great example of this.

Collaboration can provide us with a much-needed sounding board. It can make us stronger, enhance our learning and capability and provide inspiration and motivation. Most of us are social creatures – so for those of us flying solo being part of a team gives us that connection we often crave.

Yours in happiness.

Dianne Krome (founder of Equilibrium Business Consulting)

Equilibrium was born out of a desire to share my experience in business with other small business owners and help them along their business journey. Equilibrium works with small businesses in Brisbane and surrounds. Sign up to Dianne’s newsletter to get free business tips to help manage the balance in your professional and personal life to achieve your ultimate goals.

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