Online shopping has exploded in the UK, particularly during the last decade. The parcel industry was already worth an annual £6.9 billion in 2013, but by 2020 it had more than doubled to £14 billion.
And then there was the Covid-19 lockdown, during which the only way we could buy many items was by getting them delivered.
The Royal Mail is the UK’s biggest courier company, having delivered items to Brits since the 16th century. However, where there is a booming industry, there will be pretenders to the crown. With the likes of Yodel, DHL, UPS and many more all entering the fray, consumers have more choice than ever.
Except, until recently, at the Post Office. The 11,500 Post Office branches around the country worked exclusively with Royal Mail until it was announced at the start of November that it would allow customers to use services from Evri and DPD over the counter as well.
This deal makes sense for the Post Office. By offering more services, it encourages additional custom through its doors. And for the courier companies, it puts their offering in front of new eyes.
Collaboration in business is an incredibly powerful tool for entrepreneurs who want to grow and succeed. Here are a number of ways that it can boost your business.
What Entrepreneur Collaboration Looks Like
There are many ways in which entrepreneurs can collaborate. Joint ventures and strategic partnerships involve businesses undertaking specific projects together, with all parties contributing resources to take advantage of an opportunity. This could be developing products or services together, combining marketing activity or any other project in which they work together for the benefit of all organization.
Startup incubators and accelerators provide an environment in which entrepreneurs can share ideas and feedback, exchanging advice and support. And some businesses join a consortium or alliance with their peers to tackle various industry-wide challenges.
Reasons For Entrepreneurs to Collaborate
Diversity of Experience
Although the image of the entrepreneur is someone who builds their business from the ground on their own, there are many advantages to finding someone to act as a sounding board.
It can be difficult to continually think of novel solutions to the challenges that you face, and that is why collaborating and networking with your peers can help. They can help provide you with a fresh perspective that helps you work around your issue and you can provide the same service for them.
A fresh pair of eyes on a situation can be the spark you need to find the right path forwards.
Whether you are B2B or B2C, you will most likely face issues with customers tightening budgets during uncertain times. If revenue is falling or flatlining, reducing expenses is a necessity.
Through collaborating with other businesses, sharing resources such as skills or technology, you can create efficiency savings. Other examples of the benefits of collaboration in this area include economies of scale, where two or more businesses can access lower costs by purchasing in bulk together or sharing distribution channels, for example.
Expand Your Network
Working collectively also connects you with your partner’s network and vice versa. Through working together, you will meet with people and organizations with whom you might not have connected previously.
This opens the door for future partnerships, access to potential clients and other such opportunities to grow your business. In addition, you can access new markets through your collaboration with another company.
One concern of entrepreneur life is the knowledge that the fortunes of the company rest on your shoulders. Any business leader must have some level of risk appetite, but when there is no safety net, it can lead to caution that might slow growth.
When you share the burden of the risks that you face, you can feel more confident taking on challenges, knowing you have backing and support behind you and that you won’t have to start again from square one.
When the market is turbulent, the ability to pivot is essential and that is more difficult to do when you are focused on a specific goal without any external input. By having collaborators available for advice, you can work on being more responsive to changes in the industry and even improve your ability to preempt them.
For many entrepreneurs, seeking collaboration might not be a natural impulse, but the advantages are plain to see. Working together brings a range of benefits that can help your business grow and succeed.