How To Collaborate With Other Businesses

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Businesses today increasingly rely on being connected—and not just to customers. Collaboration with other companies can be a powerful tool for solving problems, reaching a new market, developing new products and services, and so much more. And working together can be easier than you think. We’re here to help you plan your collaboration, from choosing a partner to figuring out how to work together!

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Join industry organizations and groups

You can chat with business owners in your industry through online discussion forums, groups, and professional organizations.

Bisson founded the NH Pet Industry Professionals Group, where members “share ideas, tips, strategies, dreams, and goals for advancing the pet industry in New Hampshire as well as in their own businesses.” Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the group has held online meetings to network, discuss new protocol, and brainstorm ways to address customer concerns, Bisson said.

Negotiate the details

Get clear on what each of you will do. Go beyond the pitch—nail down the specifics of how you’re going to help each other. Include the actions both businesses plan to take, how you’re going to track the effectiveness of the collaboration, and target dates for making everything happen.

  • A collaboration has to benefit both teams. What are some things you do especially well? Have you overcome any business problems in a creative way? Do you have any big plans for the future? All of these can be clues to how you might help your potential partner.
  • It’s a good idea to get this in writing, especially if there are finances involved. You might even want to go through a lawyer if the agreement is especially complex.
  • Once the details are hashed out, it’s time to take action!

Work together to solve a problem

Double your brainpower by teaming up with a partner. No matter what industry you work in, it’s important to constantly come up with innovative solutions to problems and challenges that come up. But even when you have your best and brightest on the case, you might still be worried that someone else will break through first, and you’ll be left behind. If you collaborate with another company that’s also facing the same challenge, you’ll be that much more likely to land in the lead.

  • For instance, if you run a software design company, you might team up with a tech security firm. You could combine your real-world experience with their tech know-how to provide better protection against hackers and viruses.

Create a new product or service together

Think beyond what you already offer. Don’t be afraid to get creative when you’re planning your collaboration! You don’t necessarily have to base it around something you’re already doing. Instead, you might work with your partner to come up with something totally new to offer your shared customer base.

  • If you’re an artist, you could partner with a clothing company to design a new T-shirt line.
  • If you’re a restaurant owner, you might collaborate with a local nonprofit you care about to start an annual fundraiser dinner.
  • If you own a hair salon, you might partner with a local makeup artist to provide on-location hair and makeup services for special events and weddings.
How To Collaborate With Other Businesses

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