We believe that when small businesses connect, the power of collaboration will fuel their success. And it does – we are seeing it happen day in and day out. I have always taken a collaborative vs. competitive approach to business. We re-branded based on that value proposition (C3 = connect, collaborate, community). As a small business owner, you’ve got limited resources…collaboration just makes good business sense. Some people call this strategic alliances or partnerships, but we believe it’s more granular than that. So, how do you start the process?

Here are some basic steps I think you need to take:

  1. Get clear on your mission values vision: what do you do, what do you stand for, and where are you going. This is the standard you hold all your relationships up to – if a potential partner is not aligned, move on (fast!).
  2. Once you’ve gotten clear on what you want, ASK for it. Sounds simple, but you may have to do a lot of asking before the right collaborative partner shows up.
  3. Think big, start small. Focus on your big vision (BHAG goal, SMART goal, Vision board, etc) but start in your immediate circle of influence. Collaborate on a project, get to truly know each other in a practical way. Have written guidelines of expectations, roles, compensation splits. Base decisions on data vs. emotion.

Our celebration of Small Business Week is a living breathing example of this simple, yet powerful approach to collaboration.

  • Our mission is to celebrate Small Business Week by providing you with events, education and networking events. We know we can help you grow your business by doing this.
  • We also know that to make this a great experience for everyone, we need to increase our reach. So, we’ve asked several key partners how we might do that, and we now have a comarketing panel that includes: Constant Contact (who are strategic partners with Microsoft), Valley National Bank, DSM-LLC, and Paradigm Marketing & Design.
  • We believe that ultimately our collaborative approach to business will change the way small business does business. Pretty big goal. Small Business Week 2014 is our not-so-small start.

Oh the places we’ll go!!

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