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The Power of Collaborative Business Relationships

January 24, 2014


As I sat in the stands of the Syracuse Dome last night watching the Syracuse Women’s Basketball team play in an exciting game in which they rallied back to win after being down in the first half, I felt really positive because a new collaborative media partnership and business decision had put me in the seats.

Besides sitting in the Dome with some other women entrepreneurs who joined me, we were seated next to a junior varsity girl’s basketball team from Dolgeville, New York who traveled in snowy, frigid conditions to be inspired by the college team. One of the player’s mothers is a member of my company. After the game, two female coachesLittleFallsBballTeam
from the Syracuse Basketball team came up to answer questions from the young team. It was one of those entrepreneurial moments that will stay in my mind for a long time.

The evening wouldn’t have happened if someone from SU’s sports didn’t reach out to seek my support in bringing more female spectators to the game. The event also wouldn’t have occurred if I wasn’t willing to accept their offer to support them. A quote on my desk this morning says it well, “The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.” My question for you today is, “Are you open to new collaborative relationships and are you looking for them?”

Every organization has something they can give and something they can receive to propel themselves forward. Small businesses must tally up their strengths whether it’s their marketing outreach, position in the marketplace, or leverage to move customers. At the same time they must be honest about where they could use support such as advertising in a different market, bigger or different economic connections to launch a new program, or staffing support. Only by analyzing what we have and what we need as business owners are we prepared to seek out other partners.

Collaboration begins with realizing what we have and what we need and then accepting or placing invitations to other entities that can benefit both parties. No one in business can do it alone. Entrepreneurs underestimate the power of establishing positive, new business relationships. January is the month to start making some so you end up at the end of the year cheering on your new collaborative partners.

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