As much as we would all love to take credit for accomplishing goals on our own as business owners, nine times out of 10 the end result is better when we work together. Why is that?
When you bring two brilliant minds together you end up learning from each other, looking at the process from a new perspective and creating something above and beyond your original concept.
At least this is what my experience has been with collaborations, especially with other mompreneurs. They understand and share the same hesitations, but know collaborating can be rewarding and sometimes (gasp!) even fun.
Much like delegating work, the thought of partnering with another business owner is scary. It’s a risk. There’s a fear of giving up control when you don’t do all the work yourself. Failure seems to loom around every corner. But we forget that risks can go one of two ways:
- They could increase profits, yield wild business success and start wonderful new relationships.
- They could turn out terribly.
The possibility of failure, especially as a woman and mom, is not something I take lightly. As with any risk, the potential for disaster is often what keeps us from collaboration. But if you work with the right people, partnerships can be just what your business needs to get to the next level. Working with others can actually increase your own personal productivity and give you time to focus on the parts of your business that need the extra attention.
How do you go about finding the right people to work with to move your company forward?
Here are three ways you can leverage partnerships in the new year from existing relationships as a mompreneur.
1. Update Your Rolodex
I remember purchasing my first Rolodex during a college internship in Washington, D.C. Collecting piles of business cards made me feel like I had really made it as a grown-up. I still love meeting new people and making connections, but that Rolodex is buried away in a closet somewhere in my house. Now that I have my own business, forging new relationships is even more vital than ever.
I guarantee there are hundreds of business cards floating around my desk and home, tucked inside old handbags, covered in crumbs at the bottom of the baby bag and stashed in the trunk of the car. I know I can’t be the only one!
When I started thinking about why I keep these cards, it’s honestly because of the potential they hold. Any of those people could turn out to be the magic spark my business needs in 2015.
As you think about your New Year’s goals, consider making it a point to update your own Rolodex. After I merge these cards into a digital collection, I plan to but take the time to reconnect with those people throughout the year. Remember there are 365 opportunities to meet for lunch, grab coffee or send a hand-written note.
This time of year is also perfect for sorting through holiday cards and mail to see if there may be a way to work together with local businesses, family connections and friends from afar.
2. Reach Out to Other Parents
You never know what skills and talents are hiding right under your nose. The best business connections could be those that you see every day. Think about the parents you cross paths with on a regular basis. This could be from your child’s school, after-school activities, local mom’s networks and even personal caregivers. Make a list of names and their specific area of expertise or business. Then, use this list to see who may be interested in a possible collaboration in 2015.
For example, there is a woman in a neighborhood mom’s group who runs her own photography business and I am in desperate need of updated headshots. I hope to partner with her and trade her services for marketing help.
3. Find a Buddy
How many other mompreneurs do you know in your area? Why not meet up and swap contacts over a playdate, coffee or lunch?
I’m always surprised at the robust networks of my fellow moms in business and welcome any recommendation for potential partners. You may be surprised to see who your fellow businesswomen have worked with in the past that could benefit you and your 2015 goals!
Don’t forget to think outside of your regular circle when considering business partners. The new year is a great time to revamp the way you approach your business connections.
Let’s hear from you! What collaborations will 2015 bring your way?