There is much talk about economic recovery and those of us running SMEs in Ireland are all too conscious that this recovery is fragile … but the recovery is there and gives us plenty of reason to smile.
But as we look back on the recession, there is one clear lesson. We learned how to collaborate. At its most basic, WhiteLight Consulting was formed through the collaboration of volunteers on RTE’s Local Heroes TV Show. We worked together for the community. We discovered how our skills complimented each other. We recognised that by offering those skills to clients as a package, that our proposition was stronger than ever before.
We watched as other sectors of society embraced collaboration. We saw artisan food producers, retailers, artists and many others learn that, by working together, they build on their strengths and the strengths of others. We saw community groups, many of whom had their funds badly cut, come together to pool their resources, their intellect, their contacts and their experience. Collaboration during the recession was, for many, just part of surviving tough times.
But government policy also changed and embraced collaboration. Government departments welcomed tenders from small companies working together to bid for big pieces of work. And they have benefited significantly in the process by getting deeply committed small business owners giving big projects their all. Over the last 3 years, we’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with some amazing partners in business – Engage Ireland on Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, Karen H Events and Cuckoo Events on the Irish Maritime Festival and The Sage Media Group on Meath County Council’s Economic Development campaign. In turn, that has given us the opportunity to work with some amazing clients and on some projects that we’ve been really proud of.
Collaboration opens doors, it opens up opportunities and it creates opportunities to grow. So if you’ve never considered teaming up with another company to go after that big gig on eTenders now is the time … don’t wait, collaborate!