“The sky is big enough for birds to fly without colliding” Nigerian Proverb.
Every time I speak at an event, seminar or workshop, I never fail to add the above proverb to my presentation. I believe so much in this adage not because competition is not healthy but because collaboration works wonders for businesses. Competition is a great way to keep us ahead of our game. A good healthy dose of competition is what ensures we maintain a good level of service delivery to our customers and keep the business on target.
Over the years, I have watched so many small businesses spring up and struggle to stay afloat. The reasons for the struggle are usually not the lack of knowledge but the lack of the right strengths to sustain the vision. Everyone has gifts and talents but we all need help to steer the ship of our destiny down the right path.
Too many of us struggle with our ideas because we want to hold onto a hundred percent of the concept. Holding on too tight to a struggling concept can lead to its death. 100% ownership is not bad in itself but we all have weaknesses that we may not overcome in a month or in a few years. How best can we deal with our individual weaknesses or skills gap than to collaborate with the right people who can help us achieve more?
The Dragon’s den is a great example of opportunities for collaborations where business clout meets business ideas. Budding entrepreneurs are bold enough to step into the Dragon’s den because they have accepted their strengths and weaknesses and know where the Dragons can fit in.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. Helen Keller.
Before you step out to make a difference, it is of huge benefit to start from a SWOT analysis. An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will help you identify the areas where you can work alone and where you need to work with others.
There are many ways we can collaborate to achieve a profitable goal. Collaborate with competitors is in vogue, good examples are the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Canon and Kodak and many more.
A strategic alliance can build a strong and sustainable business. It can serve as a low cost route to enter new markets and build business credibility quickly. Building a new business takes a lot of effort and alliances can speed up the process to gain business clout and gain access to more beneficial networks.
If you are struggling to move your business to the next stage, consider collaborating with another business to develop yourself and accelerate your progress. It might be the difference between an ok business and a great one