Lesson #4: Lessons for Entrepreneurial Success (Maybe, with Hard Work and Luck)
You’ve probably heard the African proverb,
“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together"
Building a kickass team is a nuanced process that takes time and skill. The process can be very rewarding and invaluable. However, many people are working with a team of 1. Whether you have scores of employees or it’s you and your cat working long nights, collaborating with diverse people is key.
Sometimes, collaboration can be two businesses partnering to create an exclusive product or hosting an event together. Other times, a collaboration can simply mean working at a coffee shop with a driven friend or two. There is great value in bouncing ideas off people with a fresh perspective. There is also immeasurable energy that is created when you work around other passionate and focused people. So message a friend or colleague today and collaborate.
When collaborating with other companies, it’s important to make sure your brand values and target audiences are aligned. Also, do your due diligence and research the founder(s). You don’t want to partner with a great company only to find out that one of the founders makes it a habit of saying inappropriately sexist or racist things in interviews or on social media (because it happens). Once you do find the right fit, here are a few ideas that have garnered other businesses positive results:
- Co-host a contest with a business or brand with a common target market. Contests are great ways to build your email marketing list while turning each other's audience into a marketing cohort. Be sure to use your email marketing as a tool to build community rather than spamming sales.
- Create a collaborative product or service. This is useful as you can leverage each other’s audience but more importantly, each other’s resources.
- Guest blog on a brand’s site or host a social media takeover. This is great for audience crossover.
- Think locally, look to businesses in your area for opportunities to work together. Too often, small businesses neglect to mine the potential in their backyard. #ShopLocal and community engagements are powerful ways to build loyalty and encourage advocacy.
- Host a mastermind group, build brainstorming sessions with founders and operators of various companies.
As the saying goes, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
Photo by Matilda Wormwood