In our quest to build an empire, we are often tempted to rush through relationship and just do it ourselves. During my many mistakes I have learned that the best way to build your empire is to collaborate and build relationships. Collaborating is not easy, you have to bring something to the table; so here are the secrets to successful collaboration as a small business. I learned this from a very wise man in Southern Maryland, enjoy!
You need to bring something to the table other than your fighting spirit and winning personality. While those traits are admirable, the best thing you can do is get the reservations off of the table in the beginning of the conversation. The one thing that partners worry about the most is if a small business will still be around when the deal is done. Take this fear off of the table and have a line of credit and some working capital already lined up.
Just because you’re small doesn’t mean you aren’t capable, but you may be the only one who knows that. To a larger company you have come out of nowhere and they don’t know what you can do. Make sure that you have an operational plan and when the work finally come have the bodies to handle it. Interns, volunteers whatever it takes just make sure that you have the talent to meet the project.
In my market, I see a lot of organizations say that they can do things that they have no clue how to handle. To build an empire, you have to be able to do what you say you’re going to do. If you say you’re a marketing genius, you kind of have to be one. If you indicate that you only hire the best and brightest, then you have to hire the best and brightest. This is where your personal resume and your company resume come into play, you have to have the knowledge and the experience.
In the business world, your reputation is more important than picking the right lunch table in high school. People may not know your business, but they know you. Knowing you will cause them to buy from you, because people and yes businesses buy from people they know. Your reputation as an honest and helpful business owner goes a long way and travels in many more circles than you are aware of.
Running a business sometimes feels like you’re running through the forest with a blind fold but you can build your empire if you focus on what you bring to the table. Think about how you can help the partnership and you will build a partnership that will help you grow and conquer.