December 23, 2011

Collaborating - Part One - Why Pay Twice - Getting Started


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The easiest form of collaboration comes in being able to share assets and ongoing resources.  What makes this easiest is that it requires the least level of trust with your collaborator.  You and your collaborator provide different services to different customers - the collaboration is on the back end; a shared office, a shared receptionist, even a shared lunch room or gym in the case of business with several employees.  The best example I ever saw of this was a shared kitchen between two totally different restaurants owned by two different restauranteurs; a high-end American Cuisine and a high-end Oriental Cuisine.

There have always been businesses organizing, managing and being made on this concept:  Executive Suites has always allowed for shared traditional business resources and common office areas.  "The Cloud" is probably the latest version or organized collaboration made into a business.

There are several stages to collaboration depending on what stage your business is in.  A start-up wants to conserve cash thus looks for shared assets and resources.  A more mature business may have empty office space, excess Internet/Telephony bandwidth or a receptionist they can share.  This form of collaboration is all about cost awareness and in many cases the first step in forming relationships that can go beyond cost awareness.

The key thing here is to remember that you should not go looking for these opportunities, as this is not what your business is nor is it what will make it successful (even though it will make it more successful), just have your eyes open and know they exist everywhere - and then take advantage of them when the occur - which they do all on their own.

The Time4 and LightsOn businesses are great examples of this as they have shared knowledge, assets and resources between the different companies - one of the reason we each can be so price competitive in the advertising, printing and technology businesses.  I believe this is actually the future of these businesses as the "McPrint" players can collaborate within themselves.  The Time4 and LightsOn offices match and beat the pricing of the "McPrint" players and more importantly, provide an expertise that benefits the buyer.  This is cost collaboration in its finest form.


Collaborating Part Two will be something I consider much more fun - about making more money by creating collaborative relationships that create more sales opportunities and sales.

 Back to "Collaboration and Collaborating; You Should Be" .

Stay Tuned for Collaboration through Collaborative Relationships.

B