Wednesday 14 November 2012

Q&A With Suzanne Grant - Collaboration & Startups

Entrepreneur, Suzanne Grant - collaboration a key success factor for local and international business

Why is collaboration important to entrepreneurship?

Startups usually have limited resources, from cash to talent. So they can benefit from helping each other out. Kind of like old-fashioned barter. What is special about entrepreneurs, however, is their wonderful openness to help one another. We are all learning along the way, and today as soon as you get used to a new technology, tool or process it changes. Nobody can make it alone – at least not to potential. If you look at collaboration as part of your strategic tool kit, you have the opportunity of making progress faster with your existing resources.

Are social media and internet tools the answer for collaboration?
I have personally developed solid business relationships starting from Internet and social media connections. But a majority of people are still using these tools in the wrong way. Whether face-to-face or using Linked in Groups, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc principles of collaboration still apply.

Too often I see people trying really hard to “sell” their products or services without working on building a connection.  Social media is all about being social. And when it comes to selling – how can you do that successfully without knowing the person you are interacting with – at least just a little.

Collaboration starts with connection and we all seek this as human beings To seek connection is completely natural, but somewhere along the way, growing up,  we became shy and forget our instincts.

People can develop themselves. Shy people can be charismatic. I think I have managed to do that, although I am still learning too. We can always be better.

How can collaboration be strategic?
We can collaborate at many levels. Collaboration can lead to friendships and thought leadership. It can be for charity. Aligning our collaboration energy with our business mission is where we can take it to a strategic level. 

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