Benefit from collaboration with your competitors

In tough times, working collaboratively with your competitors could help your business to survive and even grow

Co-operating with the competition may not sound like the best idea to most business owners, but developing your own collaborative network could be a key part of the survival and success of your business.

Benefits of collaboration

There are a number of benefits of doing business collaboratively:

  • increased sales and profitability
  • access to services and resources that might otherwise be too expensive
  • it can help you both take on larger competition
  • reduced costs
  • networking
  • improvements in efficiency
  • skill sharing

Tips for working collaboratively

There are some steps you can take to give your collaboration the best chance of success:

  • before entering into a collaboration, agree on what you can offer each other – collaborative business relationships should be mutually beneficial
  • have a clear agreement – depending on the level of involvement you plan on having with the other company, you may need to draw up legal documents and service level agreements
  • make sure that all your company’s intellectual property rights are protected by the appropriate trademarks, patents and registered designs before you potentially share them with the competition
  • it should be a balanced relationship, but only give as much as you’re comfortable with
  • retain what makes your business unique – this may not be the product or price but more to do with the quality of your service or added value that you bring to customers
  • have an exit strategy – not all collaborations work out and you should know from the start what to do if either or both parties wish to end the relationship


Other useful information from Northern Ireland Business Information