2017- The Year of Collaboration!!!

So many new businesses were started in 2016. So many of my social media friends made the leap into entrepreneurism. Whether it was starting their own company, or joining a multi-level marketing business, they made decision to leave their typical 9 to 5 to branch out on their own. Especially among African-American women who began businesses at a staggering rate. I like to call 2016 the year of the entrepreneur.
We all know initially the excitement and enthusiasm of anything new keeps you going for the first few months. However after that wears off, and the reality of uncertain cash flow, delayed or cancelled meetings start to happen the feeling of concern becomes real. This happens to just about everyone, some quit and some push on pass this give up point.
For those who push on pass that checkpoint I believe they have an oasis in the desert coming. The most logical step I see is to partner with a business or individual who is in line with your vision and build together. Now I am not saying to close up shop and merge with another company but I am saying that partnership can be a key way to grow your relationships, income and influence. Partnership may not be for everyone but here is why I think it can be a solid idea.
1) Creditability- One reason some businesses are not as successful as they can be is simply because of credibility. When people do not know you or your product they don't know if they can trust you. If they can't trust you why should they support your business? Partnering with a credible business immediately can help your presence. When Gayle King invited TSY to her home and donated suits/ties to our organization that did a great boost for our credibility. Same result when Earl Graves (CEO Black Enterprise) invited us to his home to gather suits.
2) Exposure-Being able to partner with a larger organization helps with tremendous exposure. Once they post on the social media pages that you have a partnership with them, your value increases. Always have video, photos, etc. to take advantage of your relationship and share it with your clients/customers/audience. When TSY partnered with HBO/ABC/CBS, we took a tremendous amount of footage to capitalize on the relationship and shared it to show the collaboration and work we were doing.
3) Growth- Maybe your collaboration is not with a larger company but with someone who is growing like yourself or slightly bigger. That is still great because both of you can build off the other. Together an alliance is still greater that just going at it alone. Since the year has started I have personally partnered with 3-4 individuals for a new book deal, service partnership, and a couple of other activities still in the works. So mutual growth is fantastic and exciting.
Either way major work is always the common denominator but if you come across the right person, or company at least consider the idea of how a partnership can work to help you to build your brand.