From Harvard Business Review, Dorie Clark, one of my favorite thought leader and author, offers guidance on how to collaborate if you’re an independent worker. Dorie suggests reviewing five questions to see if collaboration is worthwhile including:
Is there demand? The first rule of a successful collaboration is determining whether demand exists for the product or service you’re offering. Early in my career, a colleague suggested that we should jointly conduct a high-priced workshop for female professionals. She insisted that we implement biweekly hour-long planning calls for six months prior to the proposed event. But during our first call, I pushed her: Do you have a client base that would sign up for this? The proposed workshop would be in the small Southern city where she lived, far from any connections I had at the time. I knew I couldn’t turn out attendees, and when it became clear that she couldn’t, either, I closed down discussions. You don’t need to plan something for six months only to discover that no one wants what you’re selling.
Does your collaborator add unique skills? Another good reason to collaborate is when your colleague brings something to the table that you don’t. When I started my consulting business, I partnered frequently with a good friend who was a graphic designer, because many of the potential clients we encountered wanted comprehensive branding assistance. I helped them with messaging and copywriting, and she created graphics and logos, enabling us to go after larger and more substantive projects than we otherwise would have been able to.
Read the full story at Learning How to Collaborate When You’re Self-Employed