Often when we ask small business owners to give us examples of collaborations they have been involved with, they tell us about teaming up with one other company to create a new offering. Usually, two companies decided to combine forces to deliver a new product or service to market.
At bizzi, we want you to think of the broader possibilities of collaborating with two or more businesses. Multi-company team-ups can be extremely effective and financially rewarding.
The Marketing Super Group
We know of a group of small businesses in the traditional and online media marketing sector that teamed up 5 years ago.
As independent small businesses, they faced the same challenge: finding clients.
Each one of these businesses offered a different service – graphic design, web design, social media marketing, videography, traditional advertising and media buying. What they had in common? The same client profile: multinational companies and large corporates.
They regularly met at their clients’ events and parties and soon started connecting and discussing ways to work together.
Over a short time, these companies started referring business to each other. They were delivering outcomes at the same high standard and enjoyed the creative process of working on joint projects. Over time, this loose collaboration started to grow as members of this team-up invited other complementary businesses to pitch for contracts with them.
It worked so well that a group of four moved into an office together. They shared resources such as staff and split key costs like rent and office supplies. Their creativity and motivation flourished as a result of this and they started to attract new clients and larger contracts.
Within a year, they invited two more complementary businesses into their shared space. From this came a marketing super group made up of all the services that a large corporate would require to implement a complete online and offline advertising strategy.
In time, the group decided to formalize their collaboration and established a formal partnership, setting up a company that they were all shareholders of.
Making collaborations work takes leadership, aligned values and a shared vision. But remember, your collaborations don’t have to end up in formal partnerships (in fact, most don’t). You can achieve so much even without this.
Read our blog on How To Trust The People You Collaborate With for some tips on making your collaborations thrive.