Bringing more innovation to your business sometimes going outside of the organization for inspiration. In fact, a new trend is a business to business collaboration, allowing two businesses benefit from a partnership. This creates an opportunity for talents from a variety of fields to pool their resources and come up with exciting new concepts. However, before you consider this type of arrangement for your own business, it’s important to explore both the benefits and the disadvantages of this type of collaboration.
Launching a Collaboration
Technology has made collaborating with other businesses more attractive than ever, because it opens up the possibility of collaborating with any company in any location. You no longer have to restrict a collaborative effort to businesses in your local area, which means you can select businesses that are more in line with your company’s ideals and objectives.
Suppose you want your employees to collaborate with the staff at a Japanese tech company. That’s no longer as far-fetched as it might have once seemed. Mobile devices and video conferencing create an economically feasible way for employees of the two companies to meet on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the use of cloud storage makes it possible and efficient for the collaborative team to send large files to one another. Sharing files and communicating in these ways make the collaboration as effortless and productive as if they were all sitting in the same conference room.
The Benefits of a Business to Business Collaboration
In addition to allowing people to come together over great distances, there are many other benefits to a business to business collaboration. The ultimate goal is to allow each business to benefit from a more innovative approach, but how the team comes up with those promising new concepts is an advantage in itself. The employees feel more motivated, when they’re introduced to fresh perspectives, and that encourages them to be more productive.
The situation a collaboration creates results in personal growth for each individual. Creativity is enhanced, allowing each employee to propose ideas that they might not have previously considered. Innovative ideas become more common, as this process of teamwork and brainstorming is encouraged to thrive.
For start-ups, a business to business collaboration also provides a support structure that improves their chances for success. Even when a start-up has a promising product or service, inexperience or a lack of resources can cause them to fail. However, when working with a more established company, the start-up has access to greater resources and their potential for success is maximized.
The Downside of Collaborations
While greater innovations and the ability to share skill sets are some of the most common benefits to a business to business collaboration, that’s not to say there aren’t drawbacks. Most obviously is the culture shock that may occur, depending on the locations of the collaborating companies. Individual employees may find it challenging to work with people from other cultures, or even to understand more diverse viewpoints. The team may require time to adjust to one another and to learn how to communicate more effectively.
Additionally, there’s the concern over intellectual property theft, when employees from an outside company gain access to confidential information. Of course, there has to be a degree of trust in any new relationship, but it’s equally important to realize most business leaders are interested in genuine collaboration. They would rather forge a mutually beneficial relationship than risk the legal actions and damage to their reputation that goes along with this type of corporate poaching.
If that concern is still present, consider creating a cloud account that only contains the information you permit to be shared. Each business will have access to the account and will retain control over what data and documents is uploaded into the account. This mitigates the possibility of confidential data being accessed by unauthorized individuals.
While certain measures may have to be taken to ensure confidentiality, a business to business collaboration can present a highly beneficial situation. It brings new talents to your organization and inspires your own employees with creativity. In the end, the innovative ideas and a new partnership will help your business grow in a new direction, keeping your brand fresh and exciting in the global marketplace.