It All Started With Soap – A Collaboration Story

Jennifer is a small business owner. When we met first met Jennifer, she was manufacturing her own line of soap bars made from all natural ingredients. They were packaged nicely and smelt great. Jennifer worked day and night to find boutique stores and supermarkets to buy her products, with minor success. If only she could get that one big order. Her revenue was consistent, but she had hit a plateau and struggled to grow. Each day she got more frustrated looking at the competitors in her town, feeling that they were doing better than she was.

Desperate for support, Jennifer came to our workshop. We challenged her to think about a new way to grow her business. This new way was collaboration.

Jennifer was very good at manufacturing her quality product. But she was stuck and frustrated, like so many small business owners are. We asked Jennifer to forget for a minute what was limiting her, and imagine instead what goals she would have for her business if resources were unlimited. Once she had completed this exercise, we asked her to think about all the complementary businesses that could help her achieve these goals.
By teaming up with complementary businesses, Jennifer’s business had the potential to ‘take off’ in ways she had never thought possible.

Jennifer took her new knowledge of collaborative thinking and applied it straight away. The result? Jennifer’s business, as well as the businesses she teamed up with, flourished.

Here is what happened after Jennifer left the workshop.

COLLABORATION 1
Jennifer had the idea of supplying her soap to the many serviced apartments and small hotels in her city. She contacted:
• a towel manufacturer
• a sheet manufacturer
• a services business that picked up, cleaned and returned the freshly-ironed towels and sheets

These businesses were also local and very keen to grow. Together they created a package offering and approached all the serviced apartments and small hotels in their area. They were successful in picking up contracts. The power of teaming up.

 

COLLABORATION 2
“Why stop there”, thought Jennifer, who realized that if this package offering was selling in her city, it could sell in other places. 
The towel manufacturer, the sheet manufacturer and Jennifer decided to expand their business into neighboring towns and cities. To do this, they needed:
• a logistics company to arrange transport for the team’s soap, towels and sheets
• a services business in their target market that picked up, cleaned, ironed and returned towels and sheets

This new team won business in the new town, while the first team continued to win more customers in their original market. This model could now be duplicated with new teams in multiple locations. Jennifer now understood how collaboration can pave the way to unlimited growth.

 

COLLABORATION 3 

James, who owns the towel business, is so pleased with the revenue and expansion from collaborating with Jennifer, he starts to apply collaborative thinking to his own business. 
James knows that towels are used in sport and wants to sell to sporting teams. He has no contacts in these teams, but knows that the following complementary businesses can help him reach his goal:
• a business that makes sports clothes
• a sporting goods manufacturer
• a sports marketing business
• a distributor of sporting products

James contacts these four businesses and, together, they team up to share ideas on supplying to football teams, other sports clubs, national sporting bodies, and even the Olympics. 
Later, his teammates start to form more of their own teams and collaborations.

 

James joins bizzi
James uses bizzi to meet potential new team members, set up teams for sharing ideas, explore new opportunities, and even create packages of offerings to go to market with. He invites his business network to join bizzi so they can also take advantage of this collaborative environment and grow their businesses in new and exciting ways. 
More collaborations will form. More teams will be created. More business will be won.

bizzi has been built with all the connections, coordination and communication you need for effective collaboration. 
In the following pages, we will guide you on how to achieve the same collaborative thinking in your business that Jennifer and James experienced. 
We welcome you to bizzi.
Unlimited growth through collaboration.

3 thoughts on “It All Started With Soap – A Collaboration Story”

  1. Please I want to growth my business. My business is all about beauty product, like cosmetic, cream, perfume. An I don’t have enough capital to published it.
    Please any help

  2. I’m from Nigeria and just graduated from 1 year fashion design program. I want to market my handmade african clothing online but don’t know where and how to start. Kindly assist me.

  3. Ebikeseye Alexa iniyekenimi

    Please am skin therapist and a beauty consultant here in Nigeria Lagos,am into skin care products…all I need is capital to expand my business.. Please help out thanks

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