When you first set up any kind of company, it’s more than likely there’ll be things you don’t know and stuff you can’t do, especially if it’s a tech company where everything moves very quickly. Having gaps in expertise is perfectly normal and nothing to be afraid of, as long as you understand that you’ll need to plug the gap sooner rather than later.
One way to do this is through strategic collaboration. This doesn’t need to be as formal or binding as a joint venture but having someone else on hand to help with the skills you’re missing can help you with vital functions, like development and commercialisation of new products or technology.
You don’t have to look very far to see examples of where this type of collaboration has worked before. Take Sci-Tech Daresbury for example, where companies on the site were boosted by £20.3 from collaborating with each other. In total, there were 202 instances of collaboration with over half of businesses (54%) taking advantage of collaborative opportunities.
This culture of collaboration is something Sci-Tech Daresbury really believes in. If we see a connection you might benefit from, or you identify an area where you need help, we’ll make the connection for you.
In addition to this, there are regular organised networking events at Sci-Tech Daresbury where you can meet other businesses. It’s recommended you become a member of NetworkHub, so you can sign up for these – why not give it a go and see if you can find your next collaboration opportunity?
Another effective way to collaborate is with universities. This is something else we believe in at Sci-Tech Daresbury too. In fact, around three quarters of companies collaborate with one or more of the universities who have set up a hub or facility on campus. These include Liverpool, Manchester, and Lancaster but also the likes of Leeds, Huddersfield, Glasgow, Oxford and York.
Of course, you don’t need to just use what Sci-Tech Daresbury has on offer to successfully collaborate. Other networking opportunities might be as effective, as could using online forums or advertising in industry press. Try asking your existing business connections too – they might know someone who has what you need or who’s looking for someone to collaborate with.
Another option is to use a freelancer or contractor with the skills you need. This is a usually short-term quick-fix solution, but they have advantages. You can use them as you need to and take advantage of who they know too. Most of these businesses will have a large network and could find you a whole team to help you do lots of different business functions.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to collaborate while you’re still in the early stage of your business. Utilising all, or some, of them isn’t as daunting as you might have thought. Which ones you use is up to you, but make sure you give something a try. And if you’d like more info on how Sci-Tech Daresbury can help, please get in touch.