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Collaboration – The Path to a Healthier Bottom-line



The old paradigm insists that being in business means being cut-throat competitive.  There is no doubt that competition is in the DNA of business. Competitiveness drives innovation, moves the needle of progress and supports top performance.  What if there is room to go  beyond where competition brings a business?  What if a business could stack something on top of competition to achieve greater success, greater business health and greater financial security?

Enter collaboration; specifically business to business collaboration.  Businesses who actively engage in forming alliances with other businesses, even those who are competitors, are stretching their marketing dollars further, reducing expenses and actually reduce the competitive forces pointing towards their business.  One method is engaging in cooperative marketing.

Cooperative marketing is traditionally conducted between a retailer and a manufacturer.  For example, a kitchen & bath showroom may receive money to offset a print ad from the manufacturer of a cabinet line if that manufacturer’s product is showcased in the ad.  Cooperative marketing opportunities do not end there.  Jay M Bernstein, CEO of, a B2B collaboration and networking site offered this example between two allies on WinWinUSA, “A business posted a cooperative marketing opportunity on our site, Basically, the business invested in a booth at a large trade show and wanted updated brochures.  A printer saw the post, responded and the two business collaborated in the following fashion.  The printer provided the brochures at or below cost in exchange for the printer’s logo and business information printed on the back of the brochures. In addition, the printer was invited to attend the trade show as a guest of the first company.  The printer saved thousands of dollars on trade show costs. The first business saved thousands on printing costs. Both businesses stretched their marketing dollars and reached a larger audience.  We refer to this as the ‘neighbor principle’; a WinWin.”

“The neighbor principle” is a term coined by WinWinUSA.  In a recent article in Business News Daily, Bernstein explained that when this concept “is applied to small business, companies can leverage each others strengths at little or no cost to grow both of their businesses.”

“Collaboration is one of the pillars of our company”, explains Bernstein.  “There is a huge reserve of untapped opportunities for businesses of all sizes, but particularly for small businesses.  Entrepreneurs are experts in creative solutions.  We provide a vehicle and  direction for that creativity on  Our business members feed on all these ideas and create new solutions, which in turn feed better and better ideas.  All this is accomplished by forming alliances and embracing collaboration. In the end, businesses increase revenue, decrease expenses, fill capacity and grow.  This ultimately translates to a healthier economy, more jobs here in America and greater economic security for us all.”

What types of collaborative efforts has your business engaged in?  Do you find inspiration at B2B sites like, or at trade groups, or both?

The bottom-line is there appears to be a growing awareness of the benefits for businesses to focus more attention and energy on collaboration.  Small businesses, who work with more limited budgets, are especially eager to stretch those dollars. This is perhaps the dawn of a new business paradigm: Collaboration vs Competition.

-Roman K (freelance journalist)
*Image courtesy of WinWinUSA

One comment on “Collaboration – The Path to a Healthier Bottom-line

  1. Pingback: Collaboration – The Path to a Healthier Bottom-line | networking4businesses

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