The coronavirus pandemic hit the world by surprise, forcing many nations into unplanned lockdowns, restricting human activities, and shutting down many businesses. The operations of large businesses were affected, and many small businesses had to close down completely.
The pandemic has altered the way things are done in every sphere of human endeavors and created a new normal. Many startups are devising strategies that help them align with the new normal, the most important of which is going virtual.
However, beyond aligning to these new plans, it is essential to find a way to cushion the effects the pandemic has on businesses. One way to do that is to collaborate with individuals and other businesses to help drive your startup’s values and goals.
Collaboration, especially when strategic, is vital during the pandemic, but the challenge for many is how to go about it.
To effectively collaborate during the pandemic, you must consider these tips:
- Communicate value
The quality of your collaboration will be determined by how much value you can communicate. No one wants to collaborate with another person or entity until there is an assurance that they can communicate value to them.
To position yourself or your startup for strategic collaboration and before entering one, you must outline what values you can offer. Communicating value makes you relevant in the collaboration, especially when it has to do with calling the shots.
- Establish constant communication
Communication is as essential as every other thing needed to ensure the effective running of a business. Miscommunication can be very costly, and its effect can result in long-term damage. It is also not enough to communicate constantly; you have to do so in a way that the other party can comprehend. Communicating poorly is basically the same as no communication.
At every point of entering into collaborations, you have to ensure there are structures in place for constant communication. The most important of these is to allow for regular meetings. Meetings are an excellent way to remind everyone in the collaboration of their role and the end that the partnership seeks to achieve.
With the social distancing rule still in place across many cities, you have to consider alternative modes of carrying out meetings. You can use several software for meetings virtually, which is a better option considering that not everyone will be in the same location. Some great online platforms include:
All of these services are options that can be considered. Regular emails, which can sometimes be referred to as newsletters, can also help ensure steady communication among everyone collaborating.
To make the most of collaborations, constant communication is essential. | Unsplash.
- Reiterate your startup’s goals and values
Depending on why you are choosing to collaborate, it can be a short project or a long term partnership. Considering the many things to keep up with regarding managing a business, there is the possibility of losing touch along the way. Make sure that you are clear with all of your goals at every turning point.
To avoid this or any other doubt that may arise along the way, you must reiterate your startup’s goals and values. Doing this helps everyone involved look beyond the means and see the end goal at all times.
You can reiterate these goals and values during meetings or when you send out newsletters. Knowing how to communicate well with your partners and team is very important.
Start by letting them know how much you value their input, then state why the collaboration was made initially and the values and goals that drive it.
- Always play to your startup’s strengths
To effectively collaborate during the pandemic, you must do all you can to avoid changing the natural tendencies of your startup. No doubt, the pandemic has forced many startups into almost shutting down, and collaboration is, sometimes, the strategy to remain in business.
However, collaborating to keep your business functional doesn’t mean you should lose touch with your strength. You must communicate value as well as play to your strengths when entering into a collaboration. Do not negotiate the terms of the collaboration from a place of weakness; otherwise, the other party will capitalize on it.
- Re-evaluate your expectations of the collaboration
Times have changed, the pre-pandemic reality is not what we have now, and a new normal has emerged. It will not be wise to ignore the new realities the pandemic has introduced. How you negotiate collaborations before the pandemic is not how you will now.
You have to re-evaluate your expectations of everyone that is involved in the collaboration. Set feasible expectations, and the best way to do that is to break long-term goals into shorter ones. This way, you can measure the progress you’re making with the collaboration on a short and long-term basis.
- Be open to new ideas and constructive criticism
One thing that has killed what would have gone on to be productive collaborations during the pandemic is the resentment many startups show towards constructive criticism. The primary purpose of every collaboration is to enjoy increased productivity. How can that be achieved if you are not open to new ideas?
To effectively collaborate during the pandemic, your startup must be open to new ideas and accept constructive criticism. No matter how good your idea may appear, a little input can make it better. Always take time to carefully analyze ideas that come, sieve them on a screen of truth, and pick the good that comes through.
Also, be open to constructive criticism and work towards considering them, as that will help you make better decisions for your startup.
Collaborations are important for startups that want to thrive during the pandemic. Not every business has the resources to manage the effects of the pandemic. There are individuals and businesses out there with the resources looking for others with a particular skill set that they can work with.
By knowing how to collaborate during the pandemic effectively, your startup can increase its productivity level, record more sales, and build a defense against the pandemic. All you need to do is put to practice every tip that has been outlined above.
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The Skill Collective: The New Normal: How life has changed due to COVID-19 (and tips to help you cope)
CDC: What is social distancing?
Envato Tuts+: How to Take Constructive Criticism Like a Professional
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