Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your business is to join forces with others.  Sure, mergers and acquisitions happen all the time – but that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about collaborating on a project or an event with other businesses.

When I wrote my article about the most powerful tool in your belt a few weeks ago, it was done following a social media panel I was part of.  That social media panel was put together by one business, and featured four speakers from separate businesses (and, not coincidentally, all have had a part in organizing Podcamp Pittsburgh events).  Here’s how it worked so well:

1.  Collaboration:  Collaboration and teamwork lead to big things.  Do you think the leader of a country works on his or her own?  They work in collaboration with a variety of councils, panels, and advisers – both within their own infrastructure as well as throughout the world.  The same works for businesses.  If you look at any huge event, it has multiple moving parts.  Your favorite community event, for instance, was likely organized by a group of individuals from varying backgrounds and businesses.  The event lists a host of sponsors, from local businesses to national and international brands.  It’s teamwork and collaboration that makes it happen.

2.  Fresh Insights: By including people outside your own business or industry, you gain powerful insight from how others view things.  While you look at something one way, others may be viewing and utilizing it in a completely different way.  While your way of looking at it isn’t necessarily wrong, you could gain something from looking at it from a different perspective.

3. Network Opportunities:  Face it, business is about networking.  Either you’re networking with other businesses or you’re networking with potential clients and customers.  By being introduced to and working with other businesses, your business can gain some valuable connections and opportunities.  In turn, your business can provide that same valuable connection and opportunity to another business.

4. Expanded Reach: Speaking of networking, what if you could potentially grow your audience without having to do a ton of extra work for it?  I’m not saying you’re not going to do any work, but you can utilize the networks of your co-collaborators to reach additional audiences.  Take, for instance, that video we mentioned at the beginning of this article.  There are five businesses represented in that particular presentation.  When we posted the video, I made sure to tag each of the individuals and businesses in it.  While it is now seen across my network – it is also seen across those other networks.  As an added bonus, each of the other businesses have started to share and interact with the video.  I have already seen likes and views from people outside my network – because of the access to other networks.