Collaboration is a powerful tool for all small business owners, regardless of the industry you are in or the type of business you have. So three of us decided to expand our networks by collaborating. Our services and/or products were different but complemented each other and we all happen to be in the creative industry so the benefits were pretty awesome.

It is easy to get into a routine during the day-to-day operations of your business and forget that there may be a better way to do something, different techniques to try, and new tool that can save you time and money. Going beyond what you do and see each day to explore collaboration can be inspiring and help you think in a new way.

The good news is that small business collaboration like ours didn’t necessarily require a significant time or financial investment because we thought creatively. Many collaborative relationships involve splitting intellectual contribution, hands-on work and, sometimes, expenses. We modeled our products and thankfully it was a casual themed collection with only one female so we saved on professional models and make-up artist costs. Also, our props were mostly natural and other running expense was minimal. Perhaps if you collaborate with another business and part of the terms involve sharing development and marketing expenses, you can double your budget while still reducing costs.

Above all, even though we have individual differences and preferences, collaborating was fun and an avenue for learning! In fact, every interaction you have with someone outside of your immediate circle can teach you something valuable. There is something rewarding about working together with a group on a project, and eventually accomplishing the common goal.

Our goal was to increase our individual network and we aced it. We each have a limited number of people in our networks, a limited number of people looking out for opportunities on our behalf, and a limited amount of knowledge and resources to tap into if needed. But collaborating has expanded all our reach. While every contact you make may not result in collaboration, every time you reach out to someone to explore the possibility, you are expanding your network.

If you are still not convinced that collaboration is worth your business’ time and effort, here are a few images of our outcomes for your viewing pleasure. I am convinced you are sure to patronize us all:

PLAYCOUNTY PHOTOGRAPHY: Photography ‖ Cinematography ‖ Documentary ‖ Training @playcounty @thegbekenelly @thebamiji

3LLION WATTS T-SHIRTS: Fashion Merchandising ‖ Retail ‖ Print-On-Demand @3llionwatts @opeyemibeckley

TIWA ADETOYE: Tote Bags ‖ Creative Direction @tiwaadetoye

“Collaboration is no longer just a strategy: It is the key to long-term business success and competitiveness.”

Bob Mudge

Remember to share if you do have a collaboration on our account.