Boss Lady

Conscious collaboration builds success

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Facemasks, social distancing, virtual meetings and lockdowns don’t restrict the human desire to connect. We’re a social animal driven to improve our outcomes and nothing ever has or ever will stop us finding avenues to collaborate and develop. While COVID has thrown a spanner in the works, our will to overcome, prosper and grow has not been scratched.

There’s an African proverb many are familiar with…

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

So it begs a few questions – are you planning to be in business in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Are you wanting to build something special so others may thrive in your wake?

If so, you’re going to need supporters, advisors and collaborators to help you carry the load, endure the hard times, celebrate successes with and keep you on the straight and narrow. It may be hard to fathom through a COVID prism, but these people are your connections to success. They are your guides, inquisitors, helpers, referral partners and cheer squad. They’ll pick you up and dust you off when you’re down, help you become the you that lives inside and be the warmth that floats your spirit.

3 Tips to consider when looking for Collaborators

  1. Find collaborators who work with the same target market as you
  2. Ensure your values are aligned
  3. And that you can share clients and create a “Two-way street”

Collaborators with the same target market.

Understanding your target market, and their purchasing journey is an important step. For Rebecca Badenoch, a divorce lawyer it is imperative. Often her clients are too emotionally distraught to look for a lawyer and clearly advertising does not really work. Rebecca has formed relationships with marriage counsellors, psychologists, and other professionals likely to deal with her client upstream of her. These are what we would call the obvious collaborators.

The less obvious collaborators might be those that deal with her client in other facets of life but still would be aware of her growing crisis an the need for a divorce lawyer; for example house cleaning & child-minding services, personal trainers, image consultants and masseurs.

Ensuring your values are aligned

This often starts with a bit of introspection as you define in your own mind your values. Think of how quickly you respond to a query or what you will do if something goes wrong.  Trade these stories to paint a picture of your collaborator’s values.

Ultimately you really want to connect with people who do what they say they will do. So, on first meeting agree to follow up with a conversation and a small action. It is a simple and effective test.

Good collaboration requires that you refer your collaborators goods or services to others. Remember, it’s your reputation on the line so be sure that your collaborator will deliver to a standard that you would be proud of. No, you don’t need to have used them yourself, although this is preferable. If they have testimonials given from people you trust, then explain this in your referral.

Two-way street

Good collaboration is a two-way street it quickly becomes ineffective if you are doing all the work and getting nothing in return. When you first meet and engage with new collaborators you need to understand if you can give them referrals. It’s easy for those with the same clients as you but not so easy with the less obvious collaborators.

This was a dilemma that Ingrid Sutherland from Archive Winebar, pondered at a Referral training workshop. After she listed her potential collaborators, she realised one of her main suppliers of events was from a personal organiser, Lou. Lou had given Ingrid loads of business with family parties & events from the people she worked for. Who could she refer to Lou and how could she help Lou get more business to deepen the relationship?

The answer came to her in a blinding flash! With the onset of COVID Ingrid had to extend her bar outside and needed a project organiser to liaise with council, regulations & tradies. It was an obvious choice to engage Lou.

They have built and deepened the relationship, both with a better understanding of one another’s businesses. Today they have a program of events ready to go as soon as the restrictions have lifted.

So, what are you waiting for? You’re going to go far, right? So now is the time to initiate some relationships, rekindle others, cement a few more and create an ecosystem around you where mutual benefit takes wing so the time and distance can be covered together.

The next Business in Heels Business Solutions Summit will be a fun and interactive day where face masks are off (you’ll be online!) and connections can be made. So keep the day free for education, inspiration and collaboration so your journey advances you and those around you.

Business in Heels presents the next

Business Solutions Summit – Online Event

23rd October

Participate 3 Workshops out of a choice of 14

Online conferencing allows networking face t

face

Early Bird tickets end 23rd Sept.

About Lisa Sweeney

Lisa Sweeney is an inspired networking professional building a business, Business in Heels, to support entrepreneurial women world-wide with resources opportunity and choice. I negotiate win-win deals for businesses looking to further their reach through our face to face events and social networks. We aim to help woman in business be successful on a global stage with equality.

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