By Sabrina Risley
While many professionals I meet are solo-preneurs, they are not necessarily flying solo. Ditto with regard to employees building a portfolio or book of business for a small, mid or large sized organization. In fact, many professionals are recognizing the power of collaborating with others to leverage resources they may not have at their fingertips. They are becoming what I like to refer to as “collabora-preneurs.”
A collabora-preneur is someone who collaborates with others in business to meet a common goal. You see, you can’t do everything on your own and still give 100% of your attention where it is needed most. Whether working for yourself or someone else, collaboration is one of the golden tickets to your success. If something stops you from meeting your goal(s) or from expanding, find someone who or a company that can fill the space. Do not make the mistake of thinking you and your company have to deliver what the market demands when you can leverage expertise that already exists.
(1) Making use of someone else’s expertise
(2) Leveraging manpower and resources
(3) Cross-promoting and co-marketing
(4) Brainstorming ideas and masterminding
(5) Expanding without losing focus of core competency
(6) Offering more to existing customers.
Allow me to offer up my company as an example of collabora-preneurship. Since 2004, Behind The Moon (BTM) has offered networking events to Colorado professionals. After five years, I thought it was time to expand our services and in 2009, BTM ventured into offering referral groups to the professional community, known better as leads groups. It was not my forte but, with the proper due diligence, would be a nice complement and stepping stone to further our success. Instead of additional success, what I found was that developing and operating leads groups was a distraction and took me away from the forward progress of BTM’s core competency, networking events and educating professionals on effective networking techniques. I found myself overworked and under great self-inflicted pressure, attempting to over-deliver on a service with which I had very little experience and expertise.
After 18 months of reinventing the wheel (which I highly discourage), I realized I lacked the available time to dedicate to fully developing and delivering an outstanding leads group service. However, rather than discard my efforts, I decided this would be an ideal opportunity to collaborate with another company. It is June 2011 and I am thrilled to announce that BTM has joined forces with Mark Hiatt of Business Leads of America (BLA). As long as BTM has been offering networking events to professionals, BLA been offering leads groups, and has done so very successfully. BLA operates 12 leads groups throughout Colorado and 5 in Arizona.
BTM and BLA form a strong partnership as, among other reasons, both our organizations can now leverage services of the other without distraction from our core competency. As a result, BTM and BLA members gain greater value, a stronger community, plus tools and resources now available to impact their personal and professional growth. This is an alliance that benefits both communities.
If you are itching to venture into a new market or offer a new product or service, collaborating or collabora-preneurship may be the next step to consider.
See Tips For A Successful Joint Venture for information about what to look for in a partner.
(c) 2011 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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