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9 tips on how to collaborate to success

Now let's talk about the right partnerships and what you can do to create profitable partnerships for your business. Here are your nine tips:

1. Collaborate on the Internet
You already know that I think it's a crime not to give your website a second chance after the dotcom-death and all the technical fumbling. I would very much like to write this in big letters, but I'm sure you can imagine what that would look like, so listen instead:
A good website is the best chance you have, whether you want to sell directly or indirectly on the web. A good website creates collaborations by itself.

If you don't believe me, start by removing all the info addresses and contact forms (strange figments of techniques) from the pages. Replace all impersonal email addresses with names of real people. Ask for contact. If you do, you will quickly notice a difference in the amount of emails finding their way to your inbox.

2. Open a third eye
Be aware of what's happening in your world. If you read an article about a company that you would like to work with - call them. If you go past a company you want to work with - walk inside and talk to them. Search for collaborations as part of your everyday life.

3. Collaborate with your competitors
Look for competitors who are better than you at something that you already provide. Analyze your competitors. Are you good at smaller volumes and your competitor is better at bigger - suddenly there is a basis for a partnership where you send customers to each other.

4. Collaborate with the media
Be a resource for the media. Tell them who you are and what you can do for them. Sending a letter to a newspaper, telling them that you are the best in the world is wrong. Writing letters to journalists and telling them what you can do and that you would love to share your knowledge with them when they need it is right.

5. Collaborate with your customers
This is an interesting point. How much do you really know about your customers' goals? Do you just receive the order and feel glad you got it or do your customers really know that you're actually making an effort to please them?

Being interested in the customers' goals gives you a big advantage in today's business world where the interests of customers is about to return to a cave-man stage.

Tell your customers things that are happening in the industry. Tell them about this newsletter. Always tell them what you can do for them. If your customers leave you, they must notice that they are losing something important. Read that line again: If your customers leave you, they must notice that they are losing something important.

6. Collaborate with your suppliers
Let your suppliers know your goals and encourage them to work to help you reach them. An alert provider that knows what you want will immediately see the benefits of helping you to achieve it. This will also make them see their own role as your supplier clearer.

7. Collaborate with your dealer
Is your dealer getting all the support they can get from you? Can you give them more? Have you asked what they lack? Visit them. Start a newsletter where you inform them of exciting things without selling hard. Give them a human angle on your business. Give them ... you.

8. Cooperate with people you haven't really thought of
Which companies are supplementing your business? Can you cooperate in any way? Can you sell their products or can they sell yours? Can you sell together? Can you make a joint brochure to give customers a more complete package of something they want? Think hard and start sending emails to companies that you respect about possibly collaborating with each other. It's a good start.

9. Work with your neighbors
Are there any companies on your street or in the building where you work? Gather a group of people and see what you can do together. Can you negotiate with good prices when you need to print materials, or to buy things? Can you promote each other's products? Can you get to advertise in someone else's shop window? Can you make a brochure together? Can each neighbor distribute information about the others' business to their existing customers? Networking is not just a fancy and trendy way to engage in business - it's smart and profitable in every way, not just financially, but also personally.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.