Entrepreneurship can often feel like a lonely game with long days and nights plowing ahead on a solo mission. There is no money to hire someone and no time to get out. Growth is slow and getting your name out is a struggle. Stories of startups that explode giving the owner the opportunity to hire, delegate, and not only get some free time but the opportunity to get out and spread the word about their business are the minority. Assuming you are with the majority of entrepreneurs what do you do? Good SEO and presence on social media is great but there is no replacing the credibility you get by someone else vouching for you and your business.
The mindset in the past is that that recommendation needs to come from a customer but there is a new trend where collaborating with other businesses can be like gasoline to a fire. When you collaborate with another business it is not just one person telling one other person, it is that business telling their customers that already trust them that they can now trust you and vice versa.
We have done this a little bit in the past with our businesses, it happens in construction somewhat naturally because there are so many parties involved but it is still usually centered around one project at a time. At Karibou we did pop up events which allowed for the random collaboration with local vendors but overall it was a small part of the strategy. With the VZ foundation we had some successful collaboration with other non-profits, but it was limited to just few other organizations.
With Lindsey’s newest venture, www.lindseymoceri.com, collaboration is an integral part of her business. When creating the business model, we knew that she would not have a brick and mortar location which meant we needed to find ways for the community to discover her without walking by. The collaborations are happening in a variety of ways. Online collaboration is essential to drive traffic to the site so collaborating with bloggers and clothing vendors has been key. She has collaborated with other vendors that like her do not have brick and mortar doing pop ups at a variety of locations. Recently she has begun collaborating with brick and mortar locations like Xtreme Bean Espresso, Core Works, and recently back at Karibou. Her next pop up is this Saturday the 17th from 4:00-7:00 at Helene & CO. and is open to the public.
A dedication towards collaboration has proven to be beneficial in a relatively short period of time for Lindsey and will continue to be an important part of her business. I will be working to integrate more collaboration into our other businesses. If you are just getting a business going or are feeling like you are having a tough time getting over a hump, try reaching out to complimentary businesses for some collaboration. Hopefully you will be able to find a win/win situation!