It can often be challenging for small businesses or start-ups to cement themselves in their industries. They are often competing with companies that have much higher budgets and employee power. 

But collaboration allows smaller businesses to combine their expertise, customer reach, and technology to compete with more prominent brands. This article will explore the best techniques you can use to collaborate with other companies and grow together. 

Traditional Approaches

Combined Marketing Strategies

In the digital age that we live in, traditional methods of promotion can often be overlooked. But over half of customers still believe that traditional marketing methods, such as magazines and flyers, are the most trustworthy.

Let’s say that you’re a very small business that provides cloud-based communications and services like 3cx. National television commercials and giant billboards may be a bit out of your marketing budget, but this is where collaboration comes in.

Small businesses located in reasonably close proximity or local communities can benefit from combining their budgets and investing in traditional marketing strategies—for example, valuable ad space in a popular magazine. You aren’t necessarily going to show off all your products or services, but you can show off your community and the thriving businesses it has. 

The more publicity your community gets, the more successful local companies can become.

Develop a Collaborative Culture

There is always an opportunity to collaborate with other small businesses; you just need to be on the lookout. Most businesses need to outsource, which can be anything from IT support to data and competitive analysis. Choosing a local small company can help create a cooperative environment that will help your business in the long run.

Not only that, customers often ask small businesses for referrals. For example, let’s say you’re a digital operations company. A client may ask you what the best inventory management system software is. Recommending a small business that you know is high-quality will improve the community’s ecosystem.

Share a Space

One of the most significant issues a small business can face is retail or office space, especially in high foot-traffic areas or prime locations. This problem can be mitigated with collaboration. 

Small businesses teaming up together in the same space doesn’t only reduce their expenses, but it introduces each of their customer bases to a new product or service. This means that both companies increase their probability of expanding their consumers.

Use Media

Social media

Social media is one of the most essential tools of this generation. It is multi-faceted, and every different platform has its own unique voice that your business should be exploiting. But social media can also feel like a vast ocean that is difficult to maneuver.

Small business social media collaboration is the process of cross-promoting content. This involves sharing, liking, retweeting, etc., each other’s posts and pictures to reach the largest audience possible. Combining each other’s fan bases increases your exposure and the likelihood of your customer base growing.

Collaboration doesn’t just mean reposting the occasional Instagram picture on your business’s story. There are a variety of creative things you can do. Consider this scenario.

Let’s say you’re a company specializing in call analytics software, and a customer asks you about VoIP and VoIP advantages on Facebook. Referring them to a VoIP company that you know allows you to connect your two ventures.

Not only that, you can collaborate with the small businesses on social media by organizing some sort of prize giveaway. If you set specific rules, for example, for the customer to qualify, they should like and share the post. Then you can significantly increase both of your business’s social media engagement. This is crucial for building customer relationships and increasing overall consumer loyalty.

Content Collaboration 


An example of this is creating blogs. Collaborative blogging is the process of guest posting on another website and backlinking to your own. It is an excellent way to create informative and engaging content that audiences will benefit from. Not only that but developing high-quality blogs will also position you as a leader in your specific industry.

Newsletters and Guides

Another collaborative and creative idea you can participate in is making joint newsletters or taste guides. Both of these types of content allow you to promote your product in a well-produced and organized environment. 

They require a high level of team collaboration between the businesses to ensure the content is created on time. But, if successful, they can allow you to expand your audience and develop loyal followers that trust your opinion and, therefore, your brand. 

Video Production

Producing a video series or video podcast is an effective way for small businesses to expand their reach. Video marketing is becoming ever more popular. In fact, over 90 percent of marketers believe it is a crucial part of their strategy, and almost 90 percent state that video production provides them with a positive ROI.  

The downside to video production is that it can often be expensive, which is why collaborating with another brand may be an option, or else you could outsource your development to a small media production business. 

Either way, podcasting or a video series provides you with the opportunity to invite guests, network, expand your following, and most importantly, collaborate.

Work on a Product Together 

Product collaboration is one of the purest and, in some cases, most effective forms of business cooperation. Nothing shows harmony more than two businesses combining their extensive knowledge and experience to create one ultimate product that both of their audiences can enjoy.

Collaborating on a product can bring a lot of positives, as mentioned above, but you need to make sure of a couple of things first:

  • The company you have chosen to collaborate with should share the same values as you. For example, if your brand is very environmentally conscious, collaborating with an oil company may cause you to lose customers.
  • That you have agreed on common goals. This can be anything from marketing strategies to distribution channels.

Organize Shared Events

Events are an excellent way for companies to increase their brand awareness, find potential leads, treat their existing loyal customers, and showcase their achievements. Let’s say that you’re a small cloud-based services business that wants to run an event about SaaS examples. 

If you’re just starting out, it may be challenging to acquire sponsorship and funding for this event. So, you can collaborate with other cloud-based services businesses to split the cost and increase the number of attendees.

Many successful businessmen and women talk about being “self-made,” but this is rarely the case. All businesses require a leg up or some form of help to make it in their industry, and collaboration is one of the most effective techniques small businesses can use to help one another succeed. 

Author Bio

Elea is the SEO Content Optimization manager for RingCentral, the leader in global enterprise communication and collaboration solutions on the cloud. She has more than a decade’s worth of experience in on-page optimization, editorial production, and digital publishing. She spends her free time learning new things.