Entrepreneurs are resourceful, determined people, but even the most diligent of small-business owners can’t do it all. To grow your company, you’ll likely need expertise, capacity or opportunities you can’t get on your own. That’s where collaboration with other entrepreneurs comes in.
Collaboration can be loose and informal – trading tips at a leads club or sharing another company’s content on Twitter, for example. It can also be structured and committed, with businesses joining forces to leverage their resources and expertise. You might find collaborative partners in your existing network, in your own industry or in different sectors. You can also work with a competitor to bid on contracts that neither of you could handle alone. (There’s even a word for that: coopetition.)
“All businesses, in order to thrive, need to be open to all different sorts of partnerships – it’s really hard to do it on your own,” says Chris Eben, an entrepreneur and startup expert who is also managing partner at TWG, a digital strategy, design and development firm in Toronto. “Think strategically about how different types of partnerships would move your business forward.”