Using digital marketing to collaborate with other small businesses.

Why collaboration in business is important

Collaboration in Digital Marketing has been the latest trend that almost business invests in in this era.

Entrepreneurs go into business for many different reasons although the common ones include profit making, being successful, and making a profit. One of the ways to build a successful business is to form partnerships.

Forming partnerships can be a good business strategy if done correctly. So collaboration in Digital Marketing opens a wide stream of beneficial networks.

Find out how you can form beneficial partnerships and cultivate profitable strategies for your business using digital marketing strategies

1. Join a Local Online Business Group

If you want an opportunity to meet up with business people in your area you can always go to them, but the power of social media has allowed business people from around the world to have a platform to collaborate.

There is a growing trend of entrepreneur groups where you might potentially meet your business soulmate, much like with a dating app, you can easily get into contact with those you are interested in doing business with.

An example of this is a Facebook Marketplace. Most areas now have online marketplaces where customers and business people meet, advertise their work as well as share ideas with the intent to collaborate.

The best thing about this strategy is the affordability and accessibility of it.

It also helps that using this strategy you can see what other businesses are doing and emulate some of the ideas in your own business. Online Business groups are ideal for identifying some growth areas for your business.

Using the information obtained from the group, you might be able to identify some gaps in terms of what is not being offered and use that as leverage to expand your business.

Regular networking is quite hard, think about it this way, you do not have to sit in a boring seminar or function just to connect with people. You can just easily log into your social media application and find what you are looking for. In most cases businesses include their contact details, much like a digital business card.

This strategy depends on your preference, whether you prefer meeting online for offline, business groups are a great way to make new connections in business. If you do choose the online route, then you can decide if you want to meet face-face or continue communication through digital platforms.

If your goal is to have a partnership, then this is an easy way to go about it.

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2. Use a Business Applications or Software

The possibilities are limitless in partnerships. Depending on what you want, you can make a partnership work for your business. Larger businesses have mastered the art of partnerships and use them to get value for money. Look at what Uber did, by collaborating with restaurants and doing deliveries, both businesses get a bigger audience and more sales.

You can target other businesses around you that can help with a product/service you require and form a partnership, much like picking a vendor and both parties can benefit from the partnership. Your business can thrive from a partnership, you can view this as a form of teamwork, which is better than working alone sometimes.

Teamwork can drive growth and innovation, helping your business stay relevant. Who does not want their business to be relevant?

An example of a partnership in a small or informal business is a Shisanyama. Shisanyama’s are mostly informal small businesses that operate in the townships and sell braai meat. You get large and formal ones that have a range of services, but the majority is small.

Such businesses can partner with a delivery venture to get food to customers quicker, due to this partnership the business can extend its working hours to accommodate the customers that want food late.

This can also help the business continuity in instances where the weather is bad, and people are unable to go out to buy braaid meat.

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3. Use branding to attract other businesses

Branding is like an identity of a business. A business brand should be associated with the service/product it offers. When going into a partnership, a business should think about what that means for the brand. Partnerships with too many businesses at the same time can be confusing for your customers, you might hurt your reputation in the process if you are not careful.

Therefore, it is importance to be clear in identifying exactly what you want out of a partnership and stick to what is practical and attainable. Of course, flexibility is an important factor for growth and innovation, however you should be careful not to overdo it.

Think about your goals and objectives, write them down, use them as a guide to keep you focused on the scope of work.

It is important to know your business very well before seeking out a partnership because you can find yourself very confused and things can become blurry.

4. Get value for money

Try take some time to reflect on your business. Ask yourself how many businesses you depend on now for services/products which keeps your business afloat. Think about where your business would be if it were not for your current partnerships.

The truth is most businesses are already in partnerships, the company that provides you with internet and a telephone line, the finance business that helps with money, the bank that gives you credit when you need it, the property business that lets out offices for your business.

The list is probably long but all these businesses are providing a service you need to keep your business going and without their services your business would probably be struggling.

The aim is to make the most out of your partnerships.

The first step is to acknowledge the businesses you are already in business with as your partners, think about the kind of relationship you have and how you can make it valuable and beneficial.

Ever thought that maybe banking with a different bank might provide you with more services to benefit your business. Small changes in partnerships can save your business money and time.

5. Transparency is key

Entrepreneurs are always willing to grow their businesses using different strategies. You know what they say, different strokes for different people. Your thinking should not be limited to the norm as a businessperson, the growth of your business depends on your level of innovation, thinking out of the box.

However, it is crucial to be as transparent as possible in your limitations, be honest about the services you can offer and those you cannot offer.

This is significant in finding partnerships that can help you grow
your business in the areas where it lacks. Being dishonest with your capabilities, might cause you to miss out on good partnerships who could have filled in the missing links to your business puzzle.

6. Be ready for disenchantment

In business there is always disappointments and sometimes they come unexpected. Gloomily, you need to be able to deal with them as they come along. Trying new things is demanding and for this reason, small businesses are reluctant to take risks. Failure is however inevitable at times.

While difficult as it is, cutting your losses when partnerships do not produce to your expectation is foreseeable. When it happens, be ready to move on and try something that might work for your business. Giving up is not an option if you want to succeed.

The business world is not easy to infiltrate and sometimes owning a start-up business can be really demanding. Therefore, it is important to do partnerships in the smartest way possible, keeping your expectations at a normal level and finding what works for your business.

When done right, partnerships have proven to grow small businesses and put them in a better position. Remember to be intentional, clear, and informed when going into partnerships and have partners whose goals align with yours