Business collaborations can be a crucial growth tool for cash-strapped startups and small business owners.
Best described as a mutually beneficial relationship between two parties, a collaboration could see two businesses share staff, intellectual property, client lists or office space, for example.
Jarryd Daymond is a project manager in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Macquarie University, where he negotiates and manages various collaborations on behalf of the educational institute.
While collaborations are often broadly accepted as a good idea by many in business, actually negotiating successful collaborations can prove difficult, he says.
A good partnership will see both businesses benefit, he says.
“To have an effective collaboration, a business needs to connect with the right organisation to help them in their endeavours, share information and skills in a targeted manner, and be responsible custodians of what’s being given to them by their partners.”
This relies on both parties listening, helping and sharing, he says.
“However, it’s not altruistic. The collaborative relationship stands to benefit all parties in the long run.
“The challenge is for businesses not to pre-emptively shut themselves off from potentially beneficial relationships, because you really only know which collaborations are beneficial once the wheels have started turning,” Daymond says.
A well-suited partnership
A recent collaboration between online tailor InStitchu and Australian startup mPort has revolutionised an entire market.
Men can now be fitted for a new tailor-made suit without ever setting foot in a store, with mPort’s 3D body scanning technology to roll out in shopping centres around the country. The technology allows men to design a suit tailored to their exact measurements in a few minutes.
InStitchu co-founder Robin McGowan says the collaboration is a huge win for his customers, making the online tailoring process even easier.
“Our goal has always been to make quality tailored suits accessible to all men. We’re genuinely excited to have partnered with mPort to deliver this exciting retail innovation to the Australian menswear market.”
Australian manufacturer of pure beeswax candles, Queen B, ventured into several successful collaborations last year, which helped to significantly bolster profits.
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