Key benefits of business collaboration and how to get it right

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Lone wolves are a rare breed in the business world. No matter which industry you’re in, or what stage your business is at, collaborating with others is essential for stability and long-term success. 

In this article, I’m going to take you through the most common types of business collaboration for different use cases. We’ll then take a look at the best ways to approach business collaboration, along with the three top online collaboration tools to streamline all your collaboration processes. 

But before we get stuck in, let’s start off by defining what we mean when we talk about business collaboration. 

What is business collaboration? 

Business collaboration is about bringing teammates and businesses together to come up with new ideas, solve problems, and achieve common goals. The term covers both internal and external collaboration. A lot of successful businesses work together within the organization itself, as well as with other businesses. 

There are all sorts of business collaborations, including: 

  • Team collaboration 
  • Portfolio collaboration 
  • Strategic alliance collaboration 
  • Network collaboration

Let’s take a closer look at each type of business collaboration to see which hit the mark for you. 

Team collaboration

Effective collaboration starts from within the organization. So, before you even begin to think about collaborating externally, you need to encourage internal collaboration between your teammates. 

Team or internal collaboration harnesses the strengths of individual team members and departments to complete projects and drive success. 

Benefits of team collaboration 

Employee collaboration is a must for any business that wants to thrive and grow. 

Some of the biggest benefits of team collaboration include: 

  • More creativity and innovation – Internal collaboration gives employees the space to share their diverse perspectives and ideas. This helps foster a creative work environment that sparks fresh, innovative ideas. 
  • Improved problem-solving – By pooling together individual expertise and experiences, your teams can tackle complex challenges more effectively for better outcomes.
  • Increased efficiency and productivity – Collaboration keeps team members on the same page and streamlines entire projects from start to finish. This reduces confusion and missed communication for more productivity.
  • Better workplace culture – Working in collaborative teams is a lot more enjoyable than having to deal with conflicts and miscommunication day in and day out. It also helps create a sense of belonging and shared purpose that boosts employee satisfaction and retention. 

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Portfolio collaboration 

Portfolio collaboration is our first example of external collaboration. It involves a larger company teaming up with a selection of small businesses or startups (called portfolios).

Generally, the larger “parent” company will manage smaller businesses with diverse capabilities across relevant industries. So the larger company can bring innovative products and services to market while smaller businesses get access to more resources and expertise to help them thrive.

Benefits of portfolio collaboration 

Portfolio collaboration, often called small business collaboration, is a brilliant way for larger organizations to diversify their business without needing to hire new internal teams. 

Here are some of the key benefits of portfolio collaboration: 

  • Appeal to new audiences – Portfolio collaboration helps larger companies diversify their portfolio of products, services, or investments. This gets rid of the risks that come with relying on a single product or market segment and creates more opportunities for growth. 
  • Greater agility – Smaller companies often have shorter decision-making processes and more flexibility. This can allow for quicker adaptation to market trends and your customers’ needs, which helps you stay one step ahead of the competition. 
  • Enhanced image as a brand – Partnering with smaller portfolios positions larger businesses as forward-thinking and socially responsible organizations that support smaller enterprises and spur on economic growth. 

Strategic alliance collaboration 

Strategic alliances typically involve a partnership between two or more businesses to help them reach a shared objective. Each company stays as an independent entity but makes mutual commitments and investments that support the joint mission. 

Most of the time, strategic alliances are a short-term arrangement focused on a particular project, like a brand collaboration campaign to expand market reach or new shared product launch. 

Benefits of strategic alliance collaboration

Strategic alliances come with a lot of great perks for businesses, including: 

  • Access to new markets – Strategic alliances can give your business access to new markets and customer segments that you might not have been able to reach otherwise.
  • Split costs (and risks) – All businesses get to share resources and split the bill for production. They can also spread out the risks involved for some extra peace of mind.
  • Boosted brand awareness – A strategic alliance has the power to increase brand awareness, business credibility, and customer loyalty by associating your business with another trusted brand.

Innovation networks

Similar to stakeholder collaboration, innovation networks are curated groups of businesses with shared goals and values that work together on innovative products, services, or processes.

The network of businesses can often span a variety of different backgrounds, but their overlapping interests mean that they’re able to join forces on projects to create innovative solutions for a larger impact.

By bringing together diverse perspectives, skills, and resources, these networks act as a breeding ground for creativity and exciting ideas. 

Benefits of innovation networks

Innovation networks really empower businesses to push boundaries and reach new audiences. 

Here are some of the key benefits of innovation networks: 

  • More innovation power – Two or more heads are better than one, so working together with others can help your business stay ahead of the curve with new products and services.
  • Knowledge and skill expansion – Connecting with businesses that specialize in areas other than your own gives your team instant access to new knowledge and the opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Enhanced customer experience – The best perk of all? Innovation networks make life more interesting or convenient for your customers by giving them new solutions to problems and different ways to engage with your brand.

Five tips for successful business collaboration

Now that we’ve seen some of the most popular kinds of business collaboration, here are five tactics that can help your business collaborate like a boss across every project.

1. Set clear goals and expectations

It’s vital to get every collaboration venture off on the right foot by clearly defining the objectives, roles, responsibilities, and expectations for everyone involved. 

Make sure everyone understands why they’re collaborating in the first place, and what success looks like. In other words: your key business objectives.

Having clarity from the start will keep collaborators on track and minimize misunderstandings or conflicts down the line.

2. Communicate clearly 

You can’t have great collaboration without communication. So, as a leader, it’s important to practice and facilitate transparent communication between all stakeholders by being crystal clear on your intentions, capabilities, and limitations as a business.

Great communication requires every team member to engage in active listening, an open exchange of ideas, and constructive feedback. This is how to create an environment where everyone feels heard and comfortable to express their opinions. 

On a more practical note, it’s a good idea to get set up with the right business communication software to support more seamless interactions (more on that later). 

3. Build trust 

Trust is the glue that holds every business collaboration together. Without it, teams can lose valuable time and energy trying to protect or micromanage different aspects of a project. This can delay timelines, create more conflicts, and make the job a lot more stressful than it needs to be.

Of course, building trust is a two-way street. You should treat every collaborator with respect and empathy throughout your business collaboration, while also holding yourself and your team accountable for delivering results. 

4. Recognize and celebrate achievements

Don’t get lost in work and forget to enjoy your achievements along the way. For example, when your team achieves a milestone or comes up with a brilliant idea, give them the recognition they deserve. 

Whether it’s a simple shout-out during a team meeting or a small celebration at the end of an important stage, acknowledging people’s efforts fuels them to do better. It also spreads good vibes and motivation across the whole team to boost morale. 

5. Use the right collaboration tools

One of the best ways to help your teams work together effectively is by investing in the right tools and technology. 

There’s a wide range of collaborative tools to support teams through every stage of the collaboration process, from letting people chat in real time, to sharing large files and keeping track of projects online. These tools are designed to make it easier for teams to get things done faster. 

What’s more, when businesses invest in the right tools, it shows they’re serious about helping their teams work well together, which empowers and encourages everyone to be more productive.

Top three tools to support business collaboration

Whether you’re collaborating remotely with other businesses or working together with your team on a hybrid basis, trust me when I say that the right collaboration tools will make life so much easier!  

Here are three tools that I can recommend to help you out with different business collaboration demands.

1. Filestage – best for reviewing files

Tick off comments to make your document review more effective

Giving feedback on content plays a big part in most business collaborations. And without a proper review and approval process in place, it can also take up a big chunk of time and resources. 

Filestage is a review and approval tool that makes it easy for busy teams to share files, give feedback, and make review decisions by giving them one user-friendly place to do the lot.

The platform supports all different types of content (documents, designs, videos, live websites, PDFs – the list goes on), and it lets you invite as many reviewers as your project needs. This makes Filestage the perfect tool to take all your business collaborations to new heights! 

Key features

  • Comment directly on the file – give and get accurate feedback that can be turned into actionable to-do lists
  • Compare versions – see exactly what’s changed between one file version and the next 
  • Version history – keep track of project progress, comments, and changes
  • Reviewer groups – assign the right reviewers to each stage of the review process
  • Due dates – meet project deadlines by keeping everyone on track 
  • Automations – take care of routine tasks and speed up content reviews
  • Integrations – enjoy a seamless workflow with integrations across Dropbox, Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more

2. Asana – best for managing tasks and projects

Asana design project

Business collaboration usually means lots of people, timelines, and tasks to manage. Which is where a collaborative project management tool like Asana can become invaluable. 

Asana allows teams to manage and organize their work, coordinating tasks to align with one another for smoother collaboration across the board. The platform gives collaborators autonomy over their own work schedule using their personal calendar, and it keeps everyone in the loop with real-time notifications as projects progress. 

Key features 

  • Task management – create projects, assign tasks, set due dates, and track progress 
  • Custom workflows – build your own task workflow to get projects done on time
  • Automation – automate routine tasks for lightning-fast work processes 
  • Integration – Asana integrates with other collaboration tools and platforms, like Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Microsoft Outlook 

3. Notion – best for knowledge management


Being able to quickly create and share knowledge between teams and stakeholders will streamline any business collaboration and boost productivity. 

Whether you need to access shared creative assets or put together a project wiki, Notion makes it easy to create notes and manage information. Users can create databases and templates to help them capture data in a structured format, like project tasks, customer contacts, or meeting notes. 

Key features

  • Notes and docs – create and format knowledge documents in a way that works for your teams
  • Kanban boards — map out tasks and workflows with Notion’s Kanban-style boards
  • Calendar — schedule events and keep track of due dates on the platform 
  • Formulas — make different data calculations and display specific information using formulas

Final thoughts 

Each type of business collaboration comes with its own set of benefits. But they are all built on a foundation of trust and honest communication. 

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed learning more about the possibilities that come with effective business collaboration. And if you’d like to see how Filestage can help your collaborators review and approve files faster, start your free trial today.