4 tips for better business collaborations

4 tips for better business collaborations

Collaborating with another business can be great for your company. It’s a good way to tap into new markets or create better products by pooling your skills. It can easily kickstart a failing business again and benefit both you and your new partner. But collaborations can also go very wrong and end up doing more harm than good. To avoid that, read this list of tips on business collaboration.

Choose The Right Company

This is obviously important because if you don’t form a partnership that makes sense, you won’t get anything out of it. You need to pick a company that sells products that compliment yours, but aren’t in direct competition with you. Think about who their customers are and what their interests are. Would they be interested in your products and would your customers be interested in the other company’s products? If the answer is no, it’s not a good collaboration. You also need to consider the company itself; if, for example, they’ve had a lot of money troubles lately or their marketing campaigns have been falling flat, they’re not a good business to get involved with. Before you agree to anything, always ask them to see some sales figures to make sure that they actually have a good customer base for you to tap into. It’s important that this collaboration is a 2 way street and you’re getting something out of it too.

Be Thorough With Contracts

When you’re entering into any business relationship, it’s vital that you have a thorough contract. If you don’t and there are disagreements down the line, you won’t have written proof of your agreement to draw on. It’s always a good idea to use a contract lifecycle management system that will help you to write and organise your contracts properly so you don’t risk losing them or missing out important things.

Know Your Aims

One of the first things you should ask when you’re meeting other companies about a possible collaboration is what their aims are. If both of you are trying to achieve different things, you’ll be working against one another rather than pulling together in the same direction. If you are working against each other, you won’t end up getting any good results and you’ll both just end up wasting a load of money. Always discuss your aims upfront and have regular meetings throughout the process to make sure that you’re still on the same page.

Measure Results

If things go well and you pull in a load of new customers off the back of this collaboration, you might want to do it again in future. But you won’t know whether it’s sensible to collaborate again if you don’t know how effective it was the first time around. That’s why it’s important to measure the results of the campaign. That means looking at sales figures, of course, but you should also look at things like website traffic too.

A business collaboration can bring in a lot of new customers and grow your business but if you don’t follow these tips, you can easily end up wasting a load of money.

Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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