Generating revenue in this unhappy economy is a major issue for most business owners. Until the velocity of the economy picks up again, finding the right partners might enable you to do something, and sell something, to get through this tough time.
If you can collaborate with someone who has earned your trust, you can get access to some good revenues until the economy sorts itself out again.
Listen to the podcast of Pavlo Phitidis discussion about collaborations on 702 & CapeTalk:
Crisis does push people to change their behaviour, and that ability to change brings a willingness to see, listen, hear and engage with new offerings.
How do you find a collaborator?
These collaborations are relationships you’d be looking to establish outside of your everyday operating business. So it starts with understanding your own business. You have to know what you do, and what you do not do.
When Pavlo is approached to collaborate, and he sees a lot of crossover between what they do, and what he does – that’s not a collaboration. That is sharing your clients with your competitors! When you understand what you do an don’t do, then look at what your collaborator does and does not do. They need to have complementary skills and offerings, not competitive offerings.
A good collaborator serves the same customer in different fields or areas. In this environment, where people are very apprehensive about spending money, the client gets increased value, at a lower cost than if they were seeking both of your services independently.
How do you take the new offering to market?
Pavlo advises each party approaches a customer of theirs so that there is equal exposure to risk, and ask them whether they would see value in the collaborative solution. At the end of the day, the customer is the 3rd party in the collaboration. That’s the starting point.
Is it a match?
You need to believe in the value of your collaborator, if you are going to trust your customer with them. And there needs to be an alignment of values, to ensure the relationship remains regardless of how the collaboration may change in response to customers’ needs. You don’t know what you don’t know when you go into the collaboration.
Once you have success in a collaboration, then additional pressures may strain the relationship – who’s going to market it, who’s going to run the administration etc. You need to think of the whole package.
Pavlo’s recommendation is to visit customers together, and then build the solution together to fit the customer. Then proceed slowly. Let things settle before putting your foot on the accelerator, because truth is only found in action.