Many people assume, quite wrongly, that if you are a lifestyle business there is no need for online collaboration, in any sense. But, online collaboration can be a great way to increase the efficiency of your lifestyle business whilst at the same time providing your customers with exactly what they are looking for. There are two main areas in which online collaboration can greatly benefit small businesses; these are by using the Internet to collaborate with other businesses in your field, increasing the offerings you can provide to customers without costly expansion, and by using online software to collaborate with other businesses you may outsource to, such as bookkeepers, accountants or VAs.
A lifestyle business can benefit a lot from online collaboration. For example, a small business selling jam with a website can collaborate with a cake maker and offer link exchange and promotional offers. A small online dress shop can offer a discount shoe voucher to its customers and the shoe shop can offer the reverse, thereby, offering benefits to the customers while promoting each other’s business. This also increases differentiation between yours and other businesses; increasing the reasons for customers to choose your business over a competitors
You also need to watch closely what you invest in. While starting, it may not be possible to hire employees to manage your accounting, so collaborating using small business software online may is a significantly more cost-effective investment. Online software gives you a lot of flexibility and allows you to manage your office online without investing in expensive computer software and office supplies.
As businesses change and small businesses outsource in order to keep costs down, online collaboration keeps all parties in the loop, without all having to meet and rent expensive office space. Online collaboration works for small businesses and freelancers, as a great means to keep costs down, whilst at the same time increasing business efficiency, ultimately saving your business time and money.
Moreover, if you are a freelancer, or a VA, accountant or bookkeeper, online collaboration with your clients really could give you a fantastic competitive edge over your competitors. Giving you the ability to collaborate with all your clients in one place will mean you can offer a better standard of service to all your customers while being able to keep detailed records and great customer service.
Whether you are a small business or a freelancer, online collaboration could move your business forward.