Alison La Ferlita

The Power Of Collaboration

Why You Should Be Collaborating with Your Friends and Colleagues in the NRH Community

When you join a community like the Nonprofit Resource Hub, you do it with the intent to establish trusted and long-lasting relationships with the Associate Members and Nonprofit Partners, exchange ideas, give and gain support,  and grow your business. 

The business world  is competitive but when you put effort into cultivating authentic relationships with those within the community, your business can actually thrive. Whether you’re in the for profit or nonprofit sectors, competition is unavoidable, but there also exists a wellspring of opportunities to collaborate with the other members and partners in the NRH community. When you make a concerted effort to collaborate, you open your business and/or nonprofit up to new ideas, new connections, problem solving techniques, and diversifying income streams.

What does it mean to collaborate with another small business?

Regardless of your industry or size, collaboration is a great tool that will help you build your business. Typically, collaboration is businesses working together to solve problems and achieve goals that seem to be out of reach when working alone.

When you combine the expertise, perspectives and skills of the people and organizations you collaborate with, all parties involved are better able to innovate, grow, and gain support. This stands true for the for profit and nonprofit businesses.

Benefits of business collaboration can fall under the following categories:

• Physical Capital – Share resources, equipment, facilities, or raw materials.

• Human Capital – Increase employment, develop employees’ skills and knowledge, encourage staff motivation, etc.

• Intellectual Capital – Tap into combined knowledge, capabilities, skills or expertise.

• Financial Benefits – Cut costs by sharing resources, bidding for larger contracts, etc.

But exactly how does it work?

Business Development: Collaboration helps small businesses compete with larger brands by combining knowledge, resources, consumer reach and technology. Both collaborating businesses will thrive as a result of their combined efforts to help one another. Through collaboration, you can achieve mutual growth, and will benefit from teamwork.

Expand Your Network: Collaborating with another business provides you the opportunity to develop a broader network than your business has on its own. When you collaborate with another business you present as a team, form alliances and reach new audiences.

Appeal To Grantmakers and Funders: When nonprofit organizations collaborate, they are joining forces to solve a problem. By bringing your skills, talent, and resources together, you are helping the process move at a faster rate and you are able to work more efficiently with your teams. This is an appeal to grantmakers and funders, as they are able to sooner see the results of the projects they fund and analyze the metrics of those investments. This can help ensure greater funding in the future for all of the nonprofits participating in the collaboration.

Inspire Innovation:  Collaboration is the spark that ignites  innovation because everyone brings a unique set of skills, knowledge, approaches, experiences and ideas to the table. Working together and honoring those differences opens the door to new ideas through instituting those unique perspectives. Collaboration inspired constant innovation. If you don’t innovate in today’s highly competitive marketplace, your business won’t be sustainable.

Share Knowledge: One of the biggest benefits of collaboration is the opportunity to learn and share  knowledge. Every interaction you have with someone outside of your own immediate circle can teach you something valuable. Some of the most fruitful business collaborations include two or more professionals who bring different perspectives, skill sets and knowledge to the table.

When you collaborate you can capitalize on the resources, knowledge, ideas and skills of others. Having a broader understanding of other areas and business practices can feed into your own decision-making processes and day-to-day business activities.

Solve Problems: Try to recall a recent challenge you encountered in your business. Did you reach out to a mentor, a partner, or some other trusted resource to get some guidance? When you collaborate with another business, you have a pool of people working on problems who can offer ideas to best solve the problem. By adding a new perspective from those you collaborate with, you often get results in the outcome going beyond what you expected to achieve.

The Takeaway

Collaboration is an integral part of building your relationships, your brand, and your business. Those on the receiving end of your collaboration are benefitting by having access to more resources, skills, and pool of talent. Through collaboration, you can achieve mutual growth, expand your networks, build your client list, and your brand. As a member of the NRH community, you are provided with the best talent, resources, and opportunities to work with others within the community to grow your business. Take advantage of those offerings and make the investment in building your relationships with the NRH community. The opportunities await. 

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