In a world where social media and product association are rampant, small businesses know there’s great strength in numbers. Business owners benefit considerably when they collaborate with other entrepreneurs to build branding and ultimately thrive together.
The Competitive Advantage of Collaboration
There are costs associated with any venture, but when you team up with a company that provides goods or services that you don’t, you significantly reduce the time and money you put into a new channel. Another word for collaboration is bartering — both businesses provide expertise and mutually beneficial services, strengthening each other in doing so.
The more businesses you partner with, the larger your potential client base grows and the greater the demand for your product becomes. Whether you’re an e-commerce site or a brick and mortar, by bartering you gain an advantage on those who aren’t partnering up.
Finding the Right Partner
To ensure you’re collaborating with a “merger” rather than a “moocher” and to safeguard yourself from the biggest partnership pitfalls, ask yourself the following questions before entering an agreement:
- Can their industry or sector accommodate the needs of my company?
- Is this partnership professionally or personally driven?
- What am I committing to this partnership?
- What are my goals and objectives for this partnership?
- Specifically (and with as much detail as possible), how will the two businesses collaborate?
- What data, intellectual property, patents, and secured information can be shared/obtained while collaborating?
- What is the ROI of any funds allocated to this partnership?
- What is my business NOT offering that this potential partner IS offering?
While professional collaboration may be attractive, if the data doesn’t back the decision, it’s safer to go it alone or look for other partnership opportunities.
Keep It Personal, Keep it Local
Small businesses may aim for global expansion, but attention should focus locally (or at least on a localized market) in the early stages. A business that offers a physical product the local community needs — which is generally why the product is offered in the first place — should buy local and establish a local entrepreneurial group that meets regularly. These groups spark innovation, improve marketing strategy, and increase community interest in small business ventures, which equals higher profits.
Most of all, keep it personal. It’s your business and your livelihood at stake. If you have doubts about collaboration, get a professional opinion. If you can’t get one, walk away. Better to err on the side of caution than risk an ill-informed partnership.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Jana Barrett
Building a successful business is hard. That’s why most people look for short-cuts and quick fixes to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, success doesn’t come from cutting corners. Indeed, in any endeavor, it’s the overcoming challenges and achieving what you set out to do that makes the success so sweet.
The truth is, there is no “secret” to building a successful home business. What it takes is:
Depending on your level of confidence, it might be better to suggest you have faith over belief.
For many home based entrepreneurs who struggle or fail, the thing that gets in their way of success is themselves. Because they don’t believe they can achieve success, they don’t do the tasks that need to be done or if they do, they don’t do them with the right attitude and amount of oomph.
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” The truth is, when you don’t believe, you don’t have the muscle to work and overcome. Instead, challenges and set-backs are used as proof that you can’t do it. On the other hand, people who have belief keep striving regardless of the obstacles and eventually reach success. Belief is fuel that will help you stay the course.
Have a Vision
Vision serves two-fold. First, it gives you a mark to strive for. It’s difficult to reach a goal if you don’t know what it is. What does success in home business look like to you? Second, it provides motivation.
Fear may be the biggest dream killer of them all. Fear keeps people in their comfort zone, where it may be safe, but it’s not where success lives.
Fear keeps you from taking action or believing your action will have results. It is scary to set a course in the unknown. Will your efforts work? What will people say? Will people like your product or service? Will you be able to make money? Because these questions can’t be answered, it’s daunting to forge forward simply with grit and belief. That’s when resistance and procrastination set in. But no one ever achieved success without courage to step into the unknown.
Success doesn’t happen without action. Winning the lottery might make you rich, but it doesn’t make you a success. And when you consider that most lottery winners blow their money and end up poor again, easy riches don’t build the skills and character needed to retain it. Action not only moves you toward your goal, but through it you learn what works and what doesn’t, you develop tenacity and persistence, and you build character.
Surround Yourself With Quality People
Just because you’re building a home business, doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Starting and growing a business is hard work, and sometimes an encouraging word goes a long way to keeping you motivated. Coaches and mentors can be very helpful in giving you the skills and support you need. Mastermind groups can also provide emotional support, as well as feedback and tips to help you build your business.
Having a vision for your business is a great way to develop focus. The trick is to not get distracted by shiny object syndrome. Shiny objects appear to be helpful initially. They’re the brand new marketing system or get-rich-fast program. Ultimately, they take away your focus, and waste time and money. When you develop your vision, you also create a path to achieving it. Stay focused on your plan and don’t let yourself get sidetracked by shiny objects.
Get Back Up
More than anything, success in home business, or any goal, is the ability to keep striving for success in the face of set-backs and failure. It doesn’t matter what business you decide to start, you’ll experience problems and challenges.
Many people bump into an obstacle or don’t achieve the results they want fast enough and view these challenges as stop signs. But successful people view them as problems that need to be learned from and overcome. Study any successful person you admire and you’ll discover he or she endured obstacles and failures. Instead of giving up, they got back up, dusted themselves off, and got working again.
Originally posted on the balance by Leslie Truex