We often chat about start-up life on twitter, or in our WORK HARD. PLAY HARD series. We love the freedom, the creativity, the bean bag chairs and table tennis. It’s all fantastic, but moving away from the very true stereotypes, people rarely acknowledge that start-up life is a massive amount of work. There are probably 5 other companies (in your city alone) trying to recreate whatever your endeavour is. So it can be incredibly difficult to stand out or get ahead. But the wealth of people also in start-up life can be your greatest asset. Everyone like’s to think they can go it alone, do everything themselves, but collaboration is always a fantastic thing and here’s a couple of examples how, from our journey so far:
Collaboration in your sector (The London LightBox) :
We don’t talk about ourselves very often but here we go. We’re an events app/platform. We like to bring people together to create and find events and then document them through photos, videos, even social media.
So when our friends over at Good Life (we can’t call them a start-up, they’re too big) came and wanted to use the app for their next big night life event, of course we jumped at the chance! Everyone loves to take selfies on a night out… So everyone could take selfies, upload them in the app or on twitter and we could display them around the venue and get everyone involved! A fantastic opportunity right? But getting people to download an app for a night out they might not have heard of before? There’s a challenge (especially university students who have been pre-drinking). But this is where collaboration can save the day. If you look at any list of the biggest trends in events this year, photo-booths will appear, and for good reason. It’s one of the best ways to engage your attendees! Everyone loves a selfie, but what does everyone love even more? Feeling like a model.
So this is where collaboration rather than being closed minded comes in. We have some friends in the Photo Booth game (In fact they have the coolest Photo Booth by far in our opinion) – The London LightBox, and they’d always worked in private parties or events. They’d never dipped in to a nightlife setting, especially one for university students. So it’s the perfect chance to test the waters in a new sector! After some technical wizardry to allow their Photo Booth (The awesomely named ‘Obscura’) to upload directly in to yada, we’ve got something mutually beneficial! We can create the buzz and engagement we love (in an audience slightly too tipsy to see the value of an extra download on their phones) and The London LightBox gain Market research! Moral of the story? Never be afraid to work with people, a job shared is a job halved and all that!
Collaboration outside of your sector! (Maison De Choup) :
Start-ups don’t just cover tech. As much as we all think that way, you can have a start-up Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker. They just have different, more romantic terms for them. They’re ‘artisans’ and ‘boutiques’. But if you took the defining features of a start-up and applied them to their style and business, they’re a start-up in their own right! So it’s another area of collaboration you shouldn’t ignore (even if it’s just for a sexier looking client to put on your website 😉 ). But they can be a massive help to your business!
We recently partnered with a fashion brand centred around Mental Health Awareness for the launch of their new collection. Why should you look outside of what you think is your target audience? For one, Mental Health Awareness is something we believe in strongly and linking a passion to any part of your business is always fantastic. But linking specifically with a Fashion label to help their launch party opened our eyes massively. It showed us opportunities for our app that we would never have come across focusing on one type of client. So you should always look for the broadest range of collaboration chance because you never know what you might find! It may just open the largest area of opportunity for you!
BONUS TIP: But how do you find collaborators?
This is an example of how we’ve done it but there’s a principle that reigns true from it, so sit back and let the advice wash over you. You know how at the start we joked about Start-ups loving bean bag chairs and Table Tennis? Don’t worry we’re not going back on that. But the reasons why those stereotypes exist is quite simple. When you’re a startup, you’re are just that, you’ve just started up and as we all know… Offices are damn expensive, so to obviously fill this issue, the co-working space was born (Necessity is the Mother of invention and all that). So if you take an office block and fill it with hundreds of small companies all working in different sectors, what do you have? The best network of potential clients and people to collaborate with? YES! If you want a greater opportunity to network or work with people. The co-working space is perfect for you, so if you’re still silver-surfing in coffee shops with your co-founders. This is your next step. It gives you a sense of legitimacy and the opportunities you really need as a fledgling business. Your neighbours become not a nuisance but a resource for business, testing, advice… You name it. So if you know you need to collaborate with your fellow startups to help growth, then maybe look in to your nearest Co-working space to give yourself the boost you need!
Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges in the working world? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter!
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