Here at The Workstation, we’re staunch advocates of collaboration. Over the years, we’ve seen how organisations within our business centres have been able to grow with the help of the community around them and how collaboration can be an important tool for small businesses. Regardless of how different the industry you work in may seem to your neighbour’s,  the connections with the people you might otherwise never cross paths with can be invaluable to the growth of your business. Here are 5 of the many ways collaboration can help make your business stronger.

1. Learn

Probably the biggest benefit of working alongside others is the opportunity for learning that it brings. This doesn’t necessarily need to be in the context of a formal meeting but could plainly and simply involve a chat with another business owner by the kettle as it boils. Although it might not always feel like it, each interaction with another businesses opens you up to learning something new through the different skill sets,  perspective and experience of someone who may be working in a completely different industry but can recognise the challenges of running a small business.

2. Be Inspired

When you’re working on something alone, it’s easy to lose motivation or a sense of direction as you settle into a routine. Collaboration can help shake things up for you and your business. Discussing ideas and sharing information with other people is a great way to inspire creativity and gives a great incentive to act on these things and keep pushing forward.

3. Problem Solve

In everyday life, if there’s something we can’t figure out for ourselves we’ll usually try to find someone – a partner, a friend or a professional – to help us work through the problem. So why should it be any different when it comes to problem solving for our business? The more perspective and experience you can draw upon from those around you, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with the challenges ahead.

4. Delegate

If you’re at a point in your business where you’re struggling to cope with the workload, perhaps it’s time to consider delegating some aspects of your business that aren’t exactly in your area of expertise. You’ve heard the saying ‘time is money’? Well, collaborating with others means you don’t need to spend valuable time doing things that would take those with the skills you lack half the time to achieve. And you never know, sharing your workload with a trusted partner could result in them passing over work that’s similarly better-suited to your strengths.

5. Save Money

Following on from the last point, collaborating and delegating tasks that you struggle with can save you money as you grow your business. But there’s also another way in which collaboration can help you save money – by teaming up with another business, you can share the costs in areas of development and marketing. For example, in marketing, the targeting of a combined audience will allow you to open your business up to more opportunities, as well as providing better value in terms of your investment.

Collaboration Can Bring Better Results for Everyone

From these 5 examples, it’s clear that this way of working isn’t just concentrating on how collaboration benefits us alone, but developing an environment where we build each other up and support the businesses around us. Collaboration should should mean something that’s mutually beneficial for both parties – where we can use the shared knowledge and experiences of the community to bring better results for everyone.