Collaboration is Critical to Business Growth
Although I have worked with B2B corporate and established small medium businesses. I wanted to contribute my skills and experience mentoring a Virgin start-up that has a solid technical background.
Technically experienced entrepreneurs lacking business experience is not unusual, most people develop their technical skills as employees and may have little experience of the operating business.
I have with limited resources (money, time and people) transformed and developed businesses to sustainable growth. The key is to:
- Start and Grow Lean
- Ask for Help
- Gain and Value Advice and Feedback
Start and Grow Lean
A entrepreneur had paid 2.5 times more for a logo than their a website, and they were not happy with either. Consequently, the retail business opened without a website or online presence. Starting and growing lean is assessing, planning and acquiring what is necessary to get you to the next stage.
There are many freelancer platforms you can use to negotiate, test and outsource jobs You can arrange mutually beneficial skills exchange with local community third party service providers. Businesses are not built in isolation, develop collaborative partnership within your local community or sector and overcome the pitfalls to growing a business.
Ask for Help
The mistake many new to business make is not asking for help early enough and thinking that they can do everything themselves. Of course funding the business may be a concern but costly mistakes can be avoided with the right support early in every stage of the growth of the business.
Gain and Value Advice and Feedback
While you cannot outsource the business leadership, you can learn from those who have trod certain parts of your path. The benefit of working with experienced business mentors, you learn from those that have taken the path before. Business mentors help you to focus, plan lean, work through important and critical issues; you benefit from their connections and can short-cut the learning curve saving you and your business time and money.
‘Do what you can and let the rest go’, deferring to other people who can do it better. Jeff Haden said “By collaborating externally with customers, partners, and vendors via user forums, blog comments, Twitter, Facebook, live Webinars, conferences, and meetups, you gather feedback that increases innovation.”
As a business mentor I do not know everything, and so I ask my connections for help and I encourage entrepreneurs to do the same. With a quick introductory email, my connections can open the door to sector knowledge, experience, skills and even develop mutually beneficial partnerships. Collaborators have an invested interest in your success and the success of the engagement.
Collaborators are sources of influence beyond your business capabilities. Companies that seek advice and have the discipline to practice collaboration can adapt to change quicker. Aware the future is unpredictable, you can transform through your collaborative networks. You do not tread your path alone you will thrive with influential connections in a shared vision of success.
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