Neel Sinha
Neel Sinha 25 June 2018

Collaborative Team Efforts: A Revolutionary Tool for Start-up Success

Any entrepreneur with a vision can initiate a new business or start-up. However, entrepreneurs who embrace the “single army” approach usually regret it later. It takes a collaboration of many people to achieve success. Multi-skills, experience, and competencies are required for success. Collaborations help to fulfil this goal.

In a highly competitive and unpredictable environment, one needs to change their organization to rapidly recognize and adapt to new opportunities and threats.  “Collaboration” is the new buzzword that paves the way for accelerating innovation, improving agility, increasing adaptability and cutting costs; all in a single go!  But, for the traditional and independent entrepreneur, adopting a collaborative culture is not so easy.

Based on the fact that our brains work better individually, and tend to break down in groups; most people are seen to prefer working independently on a task. Certainly, it’s not without good reason. Take the case of programmers, who are much faster when coding as individuals. Artists rarely collaborate, and when they do, it is not all that well.

However, there are exceptions to every rule!  If so many struggles on being team players, why is collaboration such a premium? It must be noted, that things that are good for one aren’t always easy.  For every industry, there are huge benefits to creative collaboration. In today’s fast galloping world, collaborative efforts are proving to be a revolutionary tool for start-up success, let’s discuss how:

Feeling of a “win-win” Situation: It’s the feeling of a win-win situation that collaboration results in, opening a lot more possibilities and opportunities.  As the saying goes, “Two heads are better than one,” Seventy-five percent of employers consider teamwork and collaboration as being very important to the success of any business.

Effective collaboration helps a business network to gain exposure. Being successful in business requires to consistently make connections and form alliances. Every contact one makes may not result in collaboration, but every time one reaches out to someone to explore the possibility, one is expanding their network. Mutually complimenting and benefitting each other, collaboration and networking go hand-in-hand. They are both crucial to the long-term growth and potential of an organization.

To keep up with market demand and competition, it is critical for businesses to find ways to innovate at a faster pace in this continually connected world. Partnerships and collaboration between start-ups and corporates help to generate and sustain creative energy.

Starting at the Top: Trust forms the basis for any successful collaboration. Company culture via the actions of the founder requires to treat everyone with respect along with giving regular constructive feedbacks.  Large organizations usually seek the innovative power and focus of start-ups. So, It holds no secret that innovation is the key to success for both start-ups and corporates.

Collaboration between the two worlds is mutually beneficial.  Most start-ups have the mind, skill, and tool-set along with an entrepreneurial passion and focus to facilitate their growth.  But these start-ups often lack access to clients, capital, and resources; which the large corporates have in abundance. Apart, the larger corporates have the distribution power to grow successful innovations fast and are experts in executing known business models. Therefore, connecting with corporates can provide start-ups with useful connections, access to resources, market expertise, and brings in revenue.

Access to More Constructive Inputs: Good ideas can come from various quarters.  More the voices, the better. These ideas or inputs that come in from various sources are critical in arriving at a clear decision taking into account:

  • What is important
  • What is possible based on constraints
  • Coordinating effective actions to produce successful outcomes

Collaboration enhances personal communication skills. When the team members interact and play to their strengths, they learn to be authentic and genuine; thereby increasing their effectiveness as well as skills. Collaboration enables to reach agreements faster.

Depending upon the culture, education, background, or life experiences; each person develops a unique quality.  When individuals collaborate, they bring thoughtful ideas to the open for discussion. This collaborative approach is a great way to re-invigorate and ignite a business with spontaneous energy.

Embracing the uniqueness of each employee and contributor and being truly receptive to their ideas; a business earns a wealth of new ideas.  As we see, an environment of collaboration generates creative energy that helps a business to drive innovation and stay competitive.

Improving Return on the Initial Investment: As per studies conducted, the gains emanating due to collaboration ranged from three to six times. This Return on Investment (RoI) is generated by avoiding costs, reducing costs, optimizing business, and arriving at faster business decisions.  It should be noted that the chief executive officers of both the corporates and start-ups share the most common strategic goals of growing their company, improving competitive positioning and generating revenue.

The start-ups have limited time and resources to prove the robustness and viability of their business model, and have to manage their time as efficiently as possible to deliver a Return on Investment. Engaging with a large organization can help them in achieving their goal successfully.  Innovation can be fostered between technology start-ups and large corporates benefiting both sides. It helps larger corporates to enter and create new markets, while on the other hand, it helps start-ups to develop and scale up their products.

A company achieved a greater RoC (Return on Collaboration) when it understood and smartly decided to use centrally-managed services and gained metrics as seen below:

  • Increased productivity by reduced average meeting time
  • Faster start-up time for meetings
  • Increased collaboration
  • Across-the-board travel costs reduced by more than a third
  • Quality of life of its employees improved because they did not have to hop on a plane as often.

It’s quite well known how start-ups like Uber, Airbnb, and Facebook disrupted traditional markets. Larger corporates try different ways to harness innovation by tapping outside potential. In order to stay innovative, it is necessary for larger corporates to collaborate with start-ups.  As we conclude, one can see, once better tools are deployed within a collaboration; the return on investment improves gradually giving shape to a collaborative culture. A collaborative team effort is indeed a revolutionary tool for start-ups.

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