On paper, it sounds like a dream – you have your skill set and need someone with another area of experience and interest, and you’d like to work with them to reduce your costs.

Collaboration, when used effectively, can help you to grow your business, pitching for business that you would not have been able to do in the first instance. But is it right for you? Here are some pros and cons:

When it works …
A problem shared – if you can genuinely share the ‘burden’, then go for it. There’s nothing better than being able to have some support and mutual understanding to help your business grow.

The more skills the better – if you are experienced in one area of work, and can collaborate within someone else who understand your work but brings different skills to the table, you can help each other acquire more business and add value to your propositions. This will make you much more attractive to potential clients, meaning more business for you both.

Someone to share ideas with – with all the best will in the world, sometimes spouse, friends, family get bored of talking about your business all the time; and they may not necessarily have the answers or the support you need. A partner can be a great person to share ideas with, as you are both there to support each other. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, so you scratch their back and they’ll do likewise when you need it, too.

When it flops
Laziness – if you’ve got a high work ethic, you should look for someone who is of the same ilk, otherwise you’ll find yourself constantly frustrated by their lack of commitment, and that can only lead to one thing…a fallout.

When your opinions don’t match theirs – the ideal collaborator is someone who ‘gels’ with you, is able to let you know when they don’t agree or understand your ideas, but can provide positive and doable alternatives. If you don’t and can’t reach this level of respect, then it won’t work. You’ll both geo frustrated with each other and feel like you’re constantly being criticised.

Distraction – if being in a collaborative agreement means you are constantly distracted and don’t get as much work done, or revenue in as before then it isn’t working. This can be a downside with collaborating – doing nothing much more than talking, and not achieving much else is a definite negative.

You discover a hate for each other – this is really not healthy, obviously. There’s nothing worse than deciding to collaborate with someone and realising that you really don’t like them. This can happen when you decide to collaborate with someone you don’t know too well, and it can be ugly, so be sure to try out working on one project together before committing to your businesses as a whole. Good luck!

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