For those of you who know me well, you might easily guess that I’m a big advocate of collaboration in business. Built into Beckmann Collaborative is the understanding that partnerships make us all stronger. When I share resources with my strategic partners, it allows us to improve the quality of each project, increase leads, expand brand awareness, and have a business confidant. These partners are purpose-driven and share some of my values.
What Does Collaboration Mean?
Simply put, collaboration is the act of engaging with someone to cooperatively create something. This definition is broad enough for one to understand, but how collaboration shows up in the workplace can often be unclear. This is especially difficult if you are a business owner and have been trained to focus on competition.
When businesses come together with a common purpose to serve a shared mission or customer, we all become stronger.
Collaboration means that we find ways to create a bigger impact on an individual project than if we were to separately contribute.
How It Works at Beckmann Collaborative
It all began in a coworking space…
Shortly after leaving a full-time job in a technology company, I began coworking at a place called the Golab. I became fast friends with the owner of the space who had a true entrepreneur spirit. One day I shared with him this idea I had about partnerships as a base for a company. He directed me to meet with another friend of his who runs a cooperative business. These conversations marked the beginning of my journey… learning about cooperative work and collaboration.
I provide the most value to clients in marketing operations and marketing strategy. That means my biggest responsibilities are to define a realistic plan and the structures for the best implementation of marketing, especially as it relates to the customer experience. My super powers are organization and problem solving. My strategic partners have different super powers that add more value to clients – from graphic design to website development to virtual assistance. It did not take me a long time to figure out that the purpose of my business was, in fact, collaboration. Plus, I saw that my business could be stronger and deliver better work for clients by collaborating with strategic partners.
Over the past 5 years, partners have shown up in my life through referrals, events and happenstance. We have created handshake agreements to give each other discounts for reselling or packaging up our services. This has allowed us to work on projects in a more cohesive and integrated way. The added benefits have been expanding our networks and business opportunities.
Where We’re Going
While the current state of my partner program has been fine, I sense that things have become stagnant. It’s not about money but relationships and purpose. As stated in the title of this piece, part of my business purpose is finding areas for collaboration with others.
Partners want more. I want more. We have an opportunity to build partnerships with deeper roots that contribute more to our businesses. So the program is expanding to include more benefits such as cross-marketing, shared training sessions, and a possible mastermind group. While it is still in development, I am really excited about the possibilities of making a more robust partner program.
I imagine a future where the alliances created through my business blossoms into a supportive community. United, we will provide a single place for small business owners to find affordable solutions to help them grow and scale their businesses. The many entrepreneurial minded folks who want to turn their side hustle into something more will get what they need to make it happen.