If you are considering a business collaboration, make sure you have all of your ducks in a row first.
Collaborating can bring the best of skill sets together.
If you are a solopreneur, a collaboration will allow you to offer a wide range of services that can help you get visible and grow your business. However…
Business collaborations can be tricky.
While they can do wonders for your business, sometimes it can turn into a potential disaster if you have not defined the:
- work requirements
- strengths and weaknesses of each collaborator
- duration of collaboration
- financials and money management
- roles of each party
- communication processes
- dispute management and exit strategies.
Collaborations can be much easier when you have defined roles, responsibilities and procedures.
Before you jump into your next collaboration, I invite you to consider the following things to ensure you (and your existing business) are ready to collaborate.
While collaboration helps you get more visible, it also requires that you protect yourself and your business to avoid any fall-outs. Let’s look at the 5 parameters that you must consider when you are ready.
5 things to consider when you are ready for a business collaboration
VISION & GOALS & VALUES
Visions and goals play an important role that define a business.
When you collaborate, you need to ensure that your vision and goals are in sync with what you and your collaborator want to achieve.
When you start your collaboration, define the end goals, milestones and also put a process in place to review them regularly.
Collaborations often happen because of personal friendship or an existing co-worker relationship.
When you partner or collaborate, keep the personal relationship aside and treat it like a business relationship.
Each of you would bring in a unique skill set to the collaboration.
Ask in what way your skill sets would complement each other in the collaboration?
Are you both on par in terms of experience, reputation and effort in this collaboration set up?
Ask yourself if it is a win-win situation for the both of you?
You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses to complement and support each other in the projects you undertake.
Setting a workflow, defining communication channels and work accountability play an important role in operations or executing the work during the collaboration.
How will you plan for work, resources, time, and energy?
How will you review and ensure that the goals are met and the work is completed?
It is easy for discontent to creep in if there are no clear cut responsibilities defined.
Decide from the outset, what the roles and responsibilities should be. Define the list of tasks involved, to avoid any sort of conflict and discontent.
A 50/50 split of profit is the ideal scenario, but sometimes resentment can emerge when it comes to the individual work efforts that have been invested.
Sometimes you may require to contribute to the business for it to grow. Given the scenario, do you think it is fair enough for you to make that contribution?
It is important to acknowledge, discuss and agree to financial contributions levels that you may require to contribute in your business.
Do you have a dispute resolution plan in place just in case of disagreements or a dispute arises?
Creating a communication process and an exit plan from the get go will help you manage any disputes and avoid any negativity towards each other.
Collaborating is more than just two people teaming up to work together to offer a skill set that is not available in the market. There are a number of legal implications when you choose to work together.
GET THE COLLABORATION CHECKLIST
Download my Collaboration Checklist to ensure that you start your next business collaboration on the right foot.
Feel free to book a consultation call if you have more queries about how best to set up your collaboration for success!
Lawyer, Contract Specialist, Speaker & Advocate for Women in Business.
Drawing on more than 15 years’ experience as a lawyer and a woman in business, Shalini Nandan-Singh helps Australian service-based entrepreneurs protect their businesses and their bottom lines with empowered legal advice and contracts.
Encouraging listeners to #loveyourlegals, Shalini firmly believes that business legals should be an authentic extension of your business. Her goal is to educate audiences that, rather than confusing legalese, business legals should be an authentic extension of your business, creating positive business boundaries that support you in working with your clients with compassion and understanding.
Disclaimer: This blog is written to support business owners to consider legal requirements and issues that may arise in business. The information provided is for general and educational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice for your individual circumstances. Please consult your lawyer for advice specific to you and your business.