Today’s Guest Post comes from Ralph Allora, Principal at TRAY Creative in Seattle. A great team for your branding and design needs!
To paraphrase a line from The Graduate, I’ve got one word of advice for small businesses and entrepreneurs: Partnerships. You can thrive as a one- or two-person operation, but it’s almost impossible to get there unless you start building strategic alliances with other independent-minded people who can complement your expertise.
My own company, TRAY Creative, came about because I was a solo practitioner who happened to meet another solo practitioner at a business networking event. We had complementary skills (I focused on marketing, copywriting and content development; she focused on digital and graphic design and development) and a similar mindset in terms of our vision for what a creative agency should be. We eventually joined forces, and cultivated an extended network of experts to bring in when we needed them. Without them, we wouldn’t have grown as much as we did over the past couple of years.
Even if you’re not trying to grow your business by taking on formal business partners as I did, you can still leverage the expertise and connections of other solo practitioners. Instead of automatically looking for a quick online or software-based solution, seek out the right partners: sales/marketing experts like Elizabeth at Yellow Dog Consulting, tax experts, retail experts, and so on, depending on your needs.
Yes, it’s not as cheap as a do-it-yourself solution. But you’ll get so much more for your investment: the collective skills, brainpower and network to put yourself on equal footing with competitors who are much bigger than you.