Why you Should Co-Create Instead of Engage in Competition
Every month, there are almost 550,000 new businesses in the United States alone. That's hundreds of thousands of ideas every year, and even if we say that only 1% of those succeed and make it to their second year of business, that's 5,500 new companies you'll have to compete with if you want to stay in business.
What's more, is that this number is projected to keep increasing significantly because almost everything anyone needs to start a business can be found online now.
Imagine what would happen to your business if a hundred others opened up and did the same thing you do or sold the same products you did? It'd be chaos, not only for you but for the new businesses as well. That's not what we're looking for.
Instead of making all these businesses your competition, why not co-create?
What is Co-Creation in Business?
In simple terms, to co-create is to collaborate with other companies to make something that both of you can benefit from.
Co-creation has been around for a long time—it isn't new, and the principle is fundamental. The only reason it hasn't picked up or many entrepreneurs don't like doing this with others is because you don't get all the profits.
Is that what matters in your business, though? Just the money?
If that's not you, then keep reading.
The idea of co-creation is for everyone who is collaborating to be able to piggyback off each other's audiences. It's not a one-way thing at all because, in the first place, both of you have to discuss your terms beforehand.
When going into a collaboration with another business, here are a few things you have to watch out for to get a fair deal:
- Figure out why they want to collaborate with you if they're the business who reached out first. The obvious answer would always be "to improve their sales"; however, you should consider what's happening in their company internally. There might be a power struggle that they want to avoid, or they're trying to find more ideas to improve their business.
- Look at the scope and size of the project. If you think the project might take weeks to complete with no guarantee that it will be successful, you might want to go back to the drawing board for it.
- A good start would be a small collaboration event or product that can be completed in a week for both parties. That way, you can see if the collaboration has a high probability of success, and you can continue with a more significant project next time.
- Know the people you're collaborating with. Make sure you know their values, the way they work, the way the people in their organization tackle things and be 100% sure that they're aligned with the message you want to put out to your customers.
- "Qualify them". If you're looking to collaborate with another business, try to make sure that they have the credentials to go head to head with you at least. This way, you're confident that both of you can benefit from each other's expertise and it's not just a one-sided thing.
Make sure your company grows to attract bigger and better collaborators.
The point of collaborating with other businesses isn't only for a quick bump in profits and sales; it's for your company's growth. That's another thing you have to keep in mind when choosing which business to co-create with.
Keep in mind that the next time you'll be looking for a business, it has to be at a higher tier than the previous collaboration for you to push yourself to improve and grow more.
Work together to solve problems in each other's business.
Like I mentioned earlier, the goal here isn't all just profits and more numbers. It's about being able to help the businesses you work with solve some of their problems as well. Nothing's better than a good relationship with another company because that will count down the line, especially when the time comes when you need their help instead.
Many entrepreneurs are so hung up on being better than everyone else. Still, the problem with that is, you're driving them away, and these other companies might collaborate to get you out of the game instead.
This isn't to scare you, however. But with all the businesses popping up today, it's challenging to get a substantial audience you can sell your services or products to so the best way to mitigate this is to help each other out.