Business guides listing

Business collaboration video guide

Suzanne Orchard, business collaboration specialist

Business collaboration: a video guide

We're stronger when we work with others. Discover how collaboration can help your company grow in this series of short videos hosted by Suzanne Orchard, a specialist adviser with Co-operative Development Scotland.

Find out more about consortium co-operatives and the benefits of collaboration for your business in these video guides from Co-operative Development Scotland, the arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies that supports companies who adopt a collaborative business model.

Video 1: What is collaboration and how can it benefit your company?

Businesses often face challenges when it comes to expanding or taking the next step

A lack of finance and expertise, or concerns about risk, are common barriers which can cause reluctance and inactivity.

Collaboration with other, like-minded businesses offers a simple solution for smaller companies by providing the opportunity to share the costs and risks of growing their business – as well as the rewards

It also creates an environment where innovation can thrive by bringing together expertise and allowing businesses to explore new opportunities. 

What is a consortium co-operative?

A consortium co-operative is a tried-and-tested way to facilitate collaboration. Made up of businesses that come together for a common purpose, it’s run in a shared and equal way

All partners work toward achieving the shared objective, even as each company keeps their own brand identity, independence and control.

Watch our video overview to find out more about consortium co-operatives and their benefits:

Video 2: Finding the right partners to collaborate with your business

How do you collaborate successfully with other businesses?

Maybe you’re already working with other companies which may be a good fit for collaboration. If not, you may need help identifying potential partners to help you achieve a particular goal.

Collaboration partners could be from the same or a similar industry – in some circumstances they may even be your competitors. The important thing is that their products or services complement yours, and that they have a like-minded approach to moving your businesses forward.

The members of a business consortium need to work closely together, so make sure you choose trustworthy partners you can depend on.

Learn how to identify and approach potential collaboration partners in our next video:

Video 3: Co-operative collaboration advice and support

You’ve found businesses interested in collaborating with yours – now, you need to formalise the consortium. Fortunately, there is help available. 

Co-operative Development Scotland offer a free advisory service to help you decide how to take your collaboration forward.  

You can speak to a specialist adviser who will guide you through the key steps in setting up the consortium model – including creating a business structure that ensures all partners work together in a shared and equal way, and sorting out the required legal documentation.

Find out more about how CDS can help you collaborate in this short video:

Video 4: The benefits of collaboration in business

When businesses come together to form a consortium co-operative, it’s usually a win-win situation from the start.   

Simply by working together, both businesses can raise their profiles, access new markets and reach a wider customer base.  

Members of a consortium co-operative can also pool resources to bid for more valuable contracts and combine expertise to develop innovative products and services.

This helps to grow your business while reducing both cost and risk, all while improving efficiency and economies of scale.  

Through collaborating with other businesses, you can increase revenues and profits, reduce costs and boost productivity.

Learn more about the advantages of collaboration in our final video:

Read more about consortium co-operatives

Learn more about Co-operative Development Scotland

Discover the power of collaboration

Curious about how collaboration could strengthen your company? We've got the guidance, support and business advice you need to grow. Get in touch to find out more.