How To Collaborate With Competitors – SUCCESSFULLY

Collaborating with competitors may make sense. Many businesses are identifying different types of collaboration in hopes of improving their own business.  Here are ways to do so, without hurting your business.

Provide something distinctive

Each partner must provide something distinctive. Clear and cut roles, tasks, and skills (competence) must be reviewed, in order for the partnership to be mutually beneficial.

As important is to ensure that competencies are less transferable than most.

Basic exchanges are the following:

a. Data
b. Information
c. Research
d. Product Development
e. Skills
f. Market Entry/ Positioning
g. Distribution
h. Manufacturing
i. Team Support
j. Dominance in Market
k. Branding

Learn from partners

Each partner must feel as though they can learn from one another. If you don’t believe there is something the partner can offer (of equal or more value) than you’re providing, then partnership may end up soured.

Engage in joint ventures

Versus becoming official partners in business, try testing out potential partnership on joint ventures, projects, etc. Depending on the outcome of partnership, you can develop more concrete or direct partnerships.

Create outsourcing agreements

Outsourcing agreements allow each party to assign specific performance requirements and deliverables to potential partners.  This may be easier than working on a project jointly or being a direct partner.


Overall, please have strategic intent behind partnering. It’s paramount in your ongoing communication and partnership engagement, to understand why you even bothered to enter into the partnership. What are you willing to offer and what are you willing to gain through the journey.

outline technical knowledge each party is bringing to the partnership.

Other than having the mindset of partnering, the secret is to understand why you’re partnering, understand each other sectors,  outline technical knowledge each party is bringing to the partnership, have solid people and relationship skills, and a structured agreement.




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