Let me start by saying that if you are starting out in business and have the funds to invest in a business coach or a mentor, go for it. It can saves you time and money down the track as it can help you get some clarity about where to focus on, where to start and what to do. However, if you are looking to take your business off the ground on a tight budget, collaboration can be a great option for you.
The reality is that having a budget can help you stay on track financially but when it comes to networking, personal and professional development, staying on budget can be a bit challenging, especially when you are in the early stages of business.
Simply because you do not know what you do not know:
- You will not know what is not working and where are you needing help with until you actually start experimenting.
- You will not know everything about your ideal client until you start working with him/her.
- You will not know the networking groups you enjoy or the tribe you like to hang out with until you start going to their events.
The truth is that when you are starting out you will not know exactly how much time or money you need to allocate to certain things. However, that should not stop you from pursuing your dreams. You have to be mindful of your budget and where you put your money in but do not let the lack of time or money be the reason your business fail. There are other ways!
Collaborating with other entrepreneurs from the very early stages of your business journey, can actually help you build a more sustainable business without needing to spend thousands of dollars.
I know from experience that ongoing mentoring, personal and professional development and a strong support network is what we all need the most in our business journey. And believe me that does not need to cost you thousands of dollars. When you gather a group of people that share a common goal, are willing to share resources and experiences and support one another, everything is possible.
Here I share with you 5 ways collaboration can help your business take off while staying on budget.
If you have an accountability buddy or accountability group you meet every week or every month or fortnightly to share your goals with, it is most likely you will get things done. Knowing you have to show up to the group, share your progress and updates, not only holds you accountable but gives you the extra push and motivation to achieve your goals. You can find an accountability buddy within your network and that may cost you nothing at all. There is also accountability groups and masterminds (both online and in person) that you can join for a very small monthly fee where you can stay accountable to each other and build connections at the same time. It is a matter of finding the right one for you.
When you have the opportunity to experience collaboration from the very beginning, you appreciate the value of working together to achieve a common goal. You understand you do not have to do everything alone and appreciate the importance of working in collaboration rather than competition. You understand the value of learning from others and the importance of paying it forward. Nurturing a collaborative mindset from the beginning helps you build a business of infinite possibilities based on abundance and gratitude rather than scarcity. It does not have to cost you thousands of dollars of coaching packages to start working on your mindset and confidence. You can transform your mindset and set yourself for success by simply embracing collaboration, living it and making it part of your business strategy.
Connecting with others going through the same journey helps you realise you are not crazy for wanting to start your own business. Not everyone has an entrepreneur friend to go to for advice, tips or encouragement. Finding your own tribe to collaborate and connect with from the very beginning can be the difference between getting started or not starting at all and living the rest of your life wondering what would have happened if?. Building relationships and collaborating with other entrepreneurs either through accountability groups, masterminds, etc., will help you gain the confidence to step outside your comfort zone more often as it gives you the opportunity to ask questions, taste the water, get support and even run your business ideas by others before you invest the time and money into a particular business, project or idea. When you start hearing other people talking about their challenges, their fears, the mistakes they have made along their journey, you will learn that is all part of the journey.
- Personal and professional development
Collaboration is about sharing. Sharing knowledge, skills, resources, tools, experiences. If we gather a group of people with a common goal (in this case starting and growing a business) and combine their skillset, learnings and experience, everyone benefits from the knowledge, resources and tools shared. It saves time and money in so many ways because those that are a bit ahead can make the path for the others a lot easier by simply sharing what they have learned along the way, what have worked and what has not worked. In fact, collaborative learning and development solutions in which different experts share their expertise or talk about different business topics, are usually more cost effective than traditional learning and development solutions. Mainly because you are exposed to different teaching styles, training delivery methods and techniques and a variety of business topics, biz jargon and terminology that can potentially help you get a better understanding of your strengths, your weaknesses and therefore, get more clarity about where are you going to need help with in your business and the type of person you would like to work with (a coach for example) to solve those particular problems within your business.
- Authentic connections
When you collaborate with other entrepreneurs either on a project or simply by supporting each other throughout the journey, you get to know them, their work, what they do and their business better. You also get to witness how they and their business transform and evolves overtime. You get to know the real person, their challenges, their wins, and their falls. It allows you to develop genuine relationships that can potentially open the gate for more formal collaborations in the future.
You will always need to invest money on personal and professional development and eventually on coaching. However, collaboration can give you the opportunity to learn, grow, nurture your mindset, build connections and get the ongoing support you need without needing to spend thousands of dollars.Find the collaborative solutions that suit you and grow your business with the money and resources you have available until you generate the income you need to invest further. It is possible !
If you want to learn how collaboration can benefit your business down the track, you can read my article about 7 reasons why you should consider implementing collaboration strategies in your business
Beatriz is a Collaboration Mentor and the founder of Colabora and the Collaboration Hub for Women in Biz. She educates, supports, inspires, connects and empower women with entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit to thrive through collaboration. As a mentor, she helps female start-ups and emerging entrepreneurs get started in business with a mindset of gratitude and abundance by providing ongoing mentoring and collaborative tools, resources and solutions that are flexible, affordable and effective.
If you’d like to join me in a journey towards your own Living Wellness, please join us at my FB community – Living Well with Budgeting123.