The benefits of collaboration for your small business

If a tree falls in a forest without anyone to hear it, does it make a sound? If an orchestra plays without an audience to listen, does it make music? If a small business operates without collaboration, does it fulfil its potential?

If you run your company with a silo mentality will you grow to become an oak, or remain a thin sapling?

Collaboration is the key to success in life. There is little point in the hours of rehearsal and fine tuning of technique if an orchestra never plays in front of anyone. It is by the very act of performance that the orchestra, and the music is plays, comes alive. The collaboration between conductor, musicians and the audience creates the magic.

What magic are you creating in your business right now? Who knows what you are doing and how amazing you are? Are you reaping the benefits of collaboration for your small business? Are you sharing your skills, experience and expertise, or are you hiding your light under a bushel and waiting to be discovered?

The trap of doing it all

When first starting a company inevitably most have to be all things to all people, performing every role. The danger is that it then becomes a habit and difficult to let go of control. Please don’t fall into that trap. As soon as you can, delegate. Your time is precious and worth more than ‘doing everything’ yourself. Trust yourself enough to move away and allow others to shine with their skills.

Similarly, do you keep your knowledge to yourself or do you share with others? I believe that we are naturally good at inclusion and sharing – of ideas, tips, skills, information. You may do this extensively in your private life (car pooling for the school run; support with the manifestation of various outfits for the school play; spreading the word on the latest fitness technique for example). But, how many of you do this to the same level in your business?

Be really honest with yourself. How much of your knowledge do you give away unconditionally? By being willing to share with others you can create a magnetic force field around you that draws people towards you, for all the right reasons.

I know you are brilliant, talented, fabulous and amazing at what you do. If you collaborate with other brilliant, talented, fabulous and amazing women, just imagine what you could, jointly create! There would be no boundaries to your combined magnificence.

The benefits of collaboration

I know when I have given of my knowledge unconditionally, the most amazing opportunities have come my way. They may not come as a direct result of the initial action of sharing, and that’s OK. It is once we let go of the outcome that we open ourselves up to the possibilities we don’t yet know exist. If we limit ourselves to what we ‘know’ we are keeping ourselves small. Accept that you don’t know everything you need to know right now, but people out there may be able to give you new insights, and help you take the next step in your business.

Henry Ford said, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘another horse’.” As the car didn’t exist, no-one knew then that was what they wanted! It is by the very act of collaboration that we can take our businesses, our lives and our future to the next stage of evolution, and it’s OK not to know what that looks like when you start.

Have the courage to do some ‘free falling’ with your business. Business plans are a necessity and good at keeping focus, however, don’t base your future entirely driven from your rational brain, allow your emotional brain to have a voice too. Reason leads to conclusions, whilst emotions lead to actions. Who can you get emotional with? Who knows where that could lead you …

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