Business Collaboration: 15 Ideas to Grow & Scale Quickly
Everyone knows that collaboration is essential for all types of businesses in the modern working climate.
Some of the best products on the planet have been made through collaborations (remember, there’s no ice cream without Ben or Jerry!).
There are so many ways to collaborate, and it is essential that brands try it as much as possible.
When people are thinking about business collaboration, it’s easy to get confused about the best route to go down.
In this guide, we will take you through some of the best business collaboration ideas for both inside and outside of the office, skyrocketing business growth along the way!
Collaborating with other brands
Collaborating with other brands is a great way to get your content seen by a new audience. The brand shouldn’t be a direct competitor, but could be:
- A local business
- A non-competitor in the same or a similar niche
- A non-profit organisation
1 – Cross-promote brands on social media
Publicising your business through cross promotion is one of the best things that you can do for it.
It’s a great opportunity to quickly and easily reach another audience.
If you and your collaborator do not directly compete, you’ll benefit from lots of new customers who are interested in what your brand offers.
It is also an advantage for your brand to share third party content to build brand loyalty and keep readers on your social media pages for longer.
A good example of cross-promotion is when American department store Macy’s collaborated with Special Kids to give them a social boost.
2 – Collaborate with influencers
Collaborating with influencers is one of the newer types of business collaboration.
It has got a name for being a little controversial and many brands don’t like to make use of it – just look at the reaction of Paul Stenson, the owner of the Charleville Lodge in Dublin, when YouTuber Elle Darby asked him for a sponsored stay.
However, it is very beneficial for companies to use the right type of influencer – the influencer marketing study reports businesses earning $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
It also depicts that 59% of marketers are planning to increase their influencer budget.
Although some businesses are still reluctant to work with influencers, many are starting to realise the importance of this new type of marketing.
There are many benefits to working with influencers – Scrunch has come up with 24 of them, in fact – but some of the most crucial are:
- Their reader/ viewership trusts them, and often looks up to them.
- They will often want the exact product that the influencer uses.
- They are professionals at creating content and they do the work themselves, meaning that all the marketing needs to do is discuss ideas.
- They often act as the middle man in building real relationships between brand and audience.
- They are a lot cheaper than other traditional forms of advertising.
- They can grow a brand’s social following by tagging them in their posts.
When using influencer marketing, it is essential to choose the right kind of influencer.
It’s best to look at engagement over numbers – 1,000 engaged viewers is better than 100,000 non-engaged viewers –and the viewership has to be one that matches your brand.
It’s also important to check how frequently they post.
CoSchedule advises that influencers should post once every day on Facebook, one to two times per day on Instagram and up to fifteen times per day on Twitter.
Influencers must be paid or at least compensated; sometimes if they are smaller they will accept a free product, but generally brands should shell out if they are after quality content.
3 – Guest Posting
Guest posting on other websites or blogs has all of the benefits of posting on social media.
Your brand gets a shout out to their audience and you could get new customers because of it.
It is also great for SEO.
Most websites allowing guest posts will let you earn a link back to your website, helping you be found in Google searches.
And of course, you can do it the other way around – get free content for your blog or website by allowing guest posters.
4 – Start a podcast
Starting a podcast is a great business collaboration idea to connect with other people in your niche and who have similar interests.
While not every brand has a podcast and it’s not something that will immediately drive sales, it is a fantastic way to network and build connections, as well as presenting yourself as a brand that really cares about the work that it does.
Having a popular podcast will also skyrocket brand loyalty, as people will be constantly tuning in to what you have to say about different matters.
5 – Create an interview series
Starting an interview series on your blog or YouTube account is a great idea to create relationships with other businesses in your niche.
You’ll get great content for your blog and people will be happy for the exposure.
You could ask anyone that you interview if they are willing to interview you in return.
6 – Go to networking events
By visiting networking events, you’ll get the chance to meet people in person.
If you want to reach people to collaborate with, here is your perfect opportunity.
You’ll also get the chance to bounce ideas off of people and be inspired.
Collaboration within the office
7 – Use your interactive display to collaborate
The use of interactive displays (which are a fantastic alternative to interactive whiteboards) greatly benefits collaboration both in the offices and with other businesses.
Using the displays means that workers can collaborate with those doing their jobs remotely and get more ideas off of each other.
As they can be written on, amongst many other features, they are great for mind mapping.
They can also be linked up to collaborate with other departments and sometimes even different businesses for brain storming sessions.
8 – Make sure that remote workers know exactly how to collaborate
Remote work has been on the rise for quite some years now.
But just how exactly do people collaborate while working remotely?
It is also important to make sure that remote workers know exactly what is expected of them in terms of collaboration.
Company leaders should clearly demonstrate exactly what they want and how they want it executed.
The future of work may very well be remote, so any forward-thinking company must ensure that they have a correct policy in place for collaboration with remote workers.
9 – Have appropriate software
It creates a much more seamless user experience and leaves little room for error.
10 – Use people’s different personality types and work styles
One of the best ways to collaborate with people in the office is to take advantage of different people’s personality types and how they like to work.
Bitrebels states that “when you find the right collaboration of people, you’ll instantly know it since everything will seem to be a whole lot easier to manage”.
Different personality types in terms of collaboration include:
- The Ringleader who likes to organise the task
- The Expert who knows everything about the task in hand
- The Socialite who is always sharing on social media
- The Executive who generally functions as the decision maker
Knowing exactly how different people work and how this can be played to the company’s advantage is a great way to grow a business quickly though collaboration.
11 – Encourage Idea Sharing in a Judgement Free Environment
When creating a collaborative workplace, it is vital that people aren’t scared to be open about their ideas.
It is thus essential that new employees know that the office is somewhere where they can share their thoughts without being judged.
Having a friendly workplace culture without too many rigid guidelines ensures this.
12 – Be open about company goals
Maintaining an air of transparency about company short term and long term goals is crucial to successful collaboration.
If an employee knows exactly what they are working towards, they will be able to collaborate better and subsequently find the exact way to work towards any goals or overcome situations.
13 – Use fluid workspaces
Fluid workspaces are a great way to stimulate creativity and collaboration.
People used to meet in boardrooms, but now they tend to favour huddle rooms which are a lot smaller and require less resources.
Huddle rooms are generally intended for collaboration, so it makes sense to use these when jointly working on projects together.
14 – Collaborate between departments
Most businesses are well aware of the benefits of collaborating with people in their own departments.
But collaborating between departments is a great way to maximise growth. Sales and marketing particularly work well together.
Why is this?
- Salespeople get first-hand knowledge of customers and their objections, which is crucial for marketing. This makes a connection between the two teams invaluable when it comes to creating marketing campaign.
- Marketing people also know how to deal with customers in creative ways, which could help the sales department.
15 – The right type of hardware
As weall know only too well, the use of technology has exploded in the last few years.
It is important to ensure that all colleagues are using the right type of hardware to collaborate effectively.
As seen above, interactive touch screens are a great way to collaborate with employees – but how can businesses make sure that their laptops are optimised best for collaboration?
It is important, especially when using the BYOD (bring your own device) model, that employees can access documents and their hardware is set up to communicate with their colleagues.
These ideas showcase just some ways that businesses can ensure that they are collaborating in the modern world.
With the popularity of remote work and the rise of employees using their own devices, it is unsurprising that many businesses are looking for more creative collaboration ideas.
However, with the rise of collaborative software’s and social media, there has never been a better time to begin to learn how to collaborate effectively, both within the business and beyond.