Many prosperous businesses are started because one person has a great idea – and the tenacity to work hard, often on their own, to turn it into a success story. But good business isn’t always about going it alone. Compromise and collaboration are two things every entrepreneur has to embrace on their journey to the top.
Just ask Miranda Bishop. She’s a Cardiff-based Social Media Trainer and Consultant and founder of Talking Social Media. A collaborative approach has been a crucial part of her business from the very start.
Miranda says: “My business was founded within a very collaborative co-working space. I started by helping out other businesses for free and, in return they gave me feedback and went on to recommend me to paying clients.”
Winning by working with others
“I’m an independent consultant so, from the word go, I’ve collaborated with other businesses for help with things like sales, marketing, finance and admin,” Miranda adds.
“The benefits of collaborating with other companies that are a natural fit with mine are huge. For instance, with digital it means I can offer my clients an integrated and seamless approach.
“It can be easy to look inwards when you run your own business but collaborating with larger organisations has really helped me visualise scalability and think about opportunities for further developing my business.”
Give give give as well as take take take
Collaboration and compromise aren’t just important for establishing a successful business, though.
A give and take approach is essential when dealing with clients and colleagues too. According to Miranda, it’s vital for building fruitful business relationships that last. She says: “People buy from people so if it's all ‘take, take, and take’, clients just won't come back to you.
“I like being able to cultivate really close relationships with my clients who come back to me every year because they know they can grow with me and I'll always be genuinely looking out for their best interests.”
A huge amount of my business comes from referrals so I make sure that I am open to compromise and adopt the ‘give and take’ mentality so that clients and partners have a good experience. In return, I get loyalty from clients who don’t just buy for price.”
Networking is everything
They say two heads are better than one – and networking with other entrepreneurs to join forces and share ideas can give your business the boost it needs.
This chance to collaborate is something Miranda has grabbed with both hands. She’s networked within her local community and much further afield, having recently spent a month collaboratively working in Portugal with a digital nomad initiative.
“One of the main ways I've built my profile is through working collaboratively (and for free) on a non-profit speaking event in Cardiff,” Miranda says. “It attracts a brilliant audience of 450 people every other month who watch speakers give lightening style talks about personal passions. Participating has got me in front of some of my biggest clients and helped me get lots of press through giving back to the community in Cardiff.
“I also co-founded a networking group designed to promote and develop women who work in tech, digital and entrepreneurship called Re:Program. It's also a great way to see women working collaboratively and building each other up instead of being competitive and it provides me and the other attendees with some amazing role models.”
It seems collaborating and compromising – whether through networking with entrepreneurs, partnering with other businesses or going the extra mile for clients – offer big benefits for your business, but also for your personal and professional development.
So what have you got to lose?
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