Collaborating for maximum advantage

Collaborating for maximum advantage

In the ‘new’ post Covid-19 environment, those businesses that want to thrive and forge ahead are embracing collaboration to drive their competitive advantage.

By Michael Mekhitarian

Costs of Goods and Service

Small business, Australia needs you

In a recent blog I talked about how small, medium and micro-businesses will have a huge role to play in driving Australia out of the current recession. Why? Because these businesses are agile.  And that’s their advantage. 

As has often been said before: small and scalable, leads to success. 

Micro, small and medium sized businesses are nimble, flexible, adaptive, responsive. Or put another way, it’s much easier to turn around a Mini Cooper than it is a bus or a semi-trailer. 

Collaboration for competitive advantage

But in order to fully embrace the changes that have been presented by Covid-19, businesses must do three things. Firstly, they must engender brand trust, secondly, they must look to digital transformation, and thirdly, they must seek to collaborate. 

The old, traditional models of doing business have become outdated in the space of about 6 months. We know that Covid-19 has changed everything about the way we work, live and play. Rapidly. What we don’t know yet, is what the future will look like. 

So, smart businesses are giving themselves options.  

What’s clear from our perspective here at ATB, garnered from talking to clients over the past, very uncertain months, is that appetite for business risk has lowered and yet the need for businesses to adapt and change in response to new staff and consumer expectations (and in some cases industry regulations as a result of Covid-19) is more critical than ever. 

And so, many small businesses find themselves between a rock and a hard place right now… Facing the imperative to innovate and evolve quickly, and yet – particularly in light of Covid-19 – many are too cash strapped to be able to comfortably invest in their operations. Furthermore, with business confidence so low, for many, the appetite to take a financial risk is seriously diminished. 

Enter collaboration.   

Finding the Right partners

By finding complementary ‘sympatico’ partnerships to create and strengthen networks, build and defend market share  and add value, companies can solve this dilemma. Many collaborative relationships involve splitting ideas and their creative contribution, hands-on work and, also in many cases, expenses.  

While the benefits are many, there’s a lot to consider and success will ultimately come down to two things: finding the right partners, and ensuring the partnership is planned and structured properly. 

Getting the structure right

A handshake simply won’t do. You must ensure clarity around the partnership – it’s objective, goals, starting point and review date. Responsibilities must be defined. Remuneration clearly set out, and you must also consider parameters around the sharing of valuable assets like intellectual property and company data. 

At ATB, we’re experts in business planning, set up and structure. Our advice is this: if you’re seeking to collaborate, then designing your partnership/s must be the first item on your ‘to do’ list. Not just so that you and your collaborators are legally protected, but so that you have the opportunity to plan the best model for moving forward – one that enables you both to engage for mutual gain. 

We’re here to help. Contact us. 


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