Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Work At Home Business Collaborations: A Win/Win Situation

Most people don't have time to learn all of the skills they need to have in order to excel at every aspect of their work at home business, nor do they have the finance to be able to pay for expert help in the areas where they are lacking in ability. This is one of the areas where networking within the local work at home business community can pay off in a big way.

Whilst you may not be able to create the illustration your client needs on his advertising campaign, or the custom paintwork he wants on his car, you do have your own area of expertise. This is a marketable asset and a negotiating tool that you can use with another work at home business owner who possesses the skills you lack and has a need for the skills you have.

Create a list of the skills you need to provide a first class service in your chosen work at home business. Use this list to identify the skills that you don't have, or any which you may have some ability in but not to a high enough level of proficiency. Once you know what skills you lack, look though the local work at home business directory, or flick through the yellow pages for small business owners who will have these skills and then approach them with a view to collaborating with them. You will provide your skills when needed for their projects and in return they will do the same for you.

Once you find someone who fits your perfect collaborating partner, set out some rules for your collaboration together. Consider how much warning you would each need for taking on part of the other's project. How will you keep records of the length of time/number of projects you have each worked on for the other - how will you handle the situation if one of you makes more use of the other? How will you deal with the extra work if the person you are collaborating with doesn't have the time to help you because of overload on their own books? Make sure that both of you are happy with the rules and then have these printed up as a collaboration contract which you both sign. You may want to have a collaboration agreement with more than one person so that you should be always able to have access to the skills you need to complete your project on time.

Having secured a collaboration agreement, you can now highlight these added skills by increasing your menu of services your work at home business provides to its clients. You always need to keep in mind however that you may be called upon at any time to help out your collaboration partner with their own workload, so if you are approached with a tight deadline it's wise to consult with them before accepting the project.

Not everyone needs a collaboration partner, but if your work at home business could benefit from an extra set of skills that you don't possess, then it's the perfect solution to having access to "on call" skills without having to pay the going rate for this kind of experience. 

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