A chance is emerging for our sector to improve the way our organisations are led, and our services are delivered, but it requires a culture shift — and a willingness to work together in the fight against physical inactivity.

Collaborative working is powerful for small businesses and vital for success on many levels. It should be valued, regardless of the size or type of business you have.

Collaboration is when a group of people come together and contribute their expertise for the benefit of a shared objective. For Aspire, it means working with like-minded organisations to help fight physical inactivity.

You can collaborate in different ways, but it is about the connections you form with different people, that will help grow your business. It is the process of teamwork and how well you collaborate with other organisations that will greatly impact the outcome of your work.

When organisations collaborate well, there are many positive outcomes. They are likely to have a positive culture; customers who recommend their services to friends and family members; team members who feel highly valued and ultimately be more successful.

If you are not convinced that collaboration is worth the time and effort, here are 6 reasons why you should consider collaboration:

1. Collaboration inspires you

Are you too busy working in your organisation every day to know which turn to take next? It’s easy to get pulled into the day-to-day operation of your business and forget that there will be a more effective and efficient way to do something.

While you can listen to podcasts and read books for inspiration, if you are not communicating that information, the benefits are limited. It is imperative to get to get a fresh perspective and trigger your creativity. Going beyond what you do and see each day to explore collaboration can be inspiring and help you think in a new way.

2. Collaboration grows your network

It’s important that as a business owner, you don’t get stuck in your business 24:7. Successful business owners often meet new people, build their contact lists and form partnerships.

It might seem daunting for some people but what have you got to lose? Reach out to someone to explore the possibility of collaborating and expand your network.

3. Collaboration propels learning

One of the biggest benefits of collaboration are the opportunities to educate yourself and your team. Every conversation you have with someone outside of your organisation can teach you something valuable.

Your organisation will have limited skill sets, strengths and perspectives so when different people get together, you are certain to be surrounded by an incredible amount of learning opportunities. Creating partnerships means that you can take advantage of the expertise of others and all parties involved can capitalise on the skills and resources of people in the group. It can also help you stay current with industry trends and get ahead of your competitors.

4. Collaboration helps you save money

Collaborative working can involve the sharing of intellectual property, project development and hands-on work. If you do not have the people or budget to create new programmes, working in partnership can often help you achieve your goals quicker and not make such a dent in your budget, provided all the parties involved are equally invested in the success of the collaboration.

5. Collaboration solves problems

If you can’t accomplish something on your own, two or three or more people may be able to get it done. Collaboration opens new ways of thinking thus enabling further opportunities and new directions to take in the future.

When you face a problem, it’s important to have a sounding board of people you trust and people that help you work through the problem. The harder the problem is to solve, the more we can benefit from getting the input of people outside of the situation. Add new viewpoints and experiences to the mix and the result will often surpass what you originally set out to accomplish.

6. Collaboration provides positive change

Collaboration brings people together to achieve a common goal. When you’re working with like-minded people from different organisations it becomes the driving force behind an initiative for change, and it can keep your organisation aligned and focused on the ‘bigger picture.’

You will also see positive change in your own organisation as you move forward and progress. Change can make work processes run more efficiently, which will increase the number of satisfied customers as well as employees.

The good news is that small business collaboration doesn’t necessarily require a significant time or financial investment – if you think creatively.

Aspire Active Partnerships was born out of our collective objective to end physical inactivity forever. We exist to inspire, educate and help like-minded sports coaching organisations build on their success and achieve more.

Physical inactivity is a major problem in society and not one organisation will help combat this. That’s why we believe our sector needs a collaborative approach.

Our existing partner network proves that the sharing and leveraging of resources means we can combat the all too familiar headaches business owners experience and increase our reach to more children.

Discover more about our community and the impact we’re having by clicking here