5 Big Benefits to Developing Partnerships with Other Consultants

By MBO Partners | May 1, 2024

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Key Points

Although it can be easy to see other independent professionals as competitors, especially those who work in your field, there are several advantages to cultivating relationships with your peers.

Learning how to network with other self-employed individuals can result in shared learning, collaboration, and recommendations.

While differentiating your business services might help you stand out, creating strong relationships with individuals in your sector is equally vital and can lead to the five benefits listed below.

Although viewing other independent professionals in your market space as competition is natural, there are business benefits in developing relationships with your peers. Networking with other independents can lead to shared learning, collaboration, and referrals. While differentiating your business is an important way to stand out from the crowd, establishing strong relationships with those in your industry is also important.

Here are some of the benefits that can come from connecting with other independent professionals.

1. Client Referrals

When you have more work opportunities than you can reliably take on, it can help to be on good terms with qualified independent professionals you can refer. If you can recommend a highly skilled independent who can fulfill the client’s needs, you’ll create a win-win-win situation. Your associate takes on a new project, the client’s work is finished in a timely and high quality manner, and you gain a reputation for putting client needs first while not overloading your schedule. And if your associate finds themselves in a similar situation in the future, your name will likely be top of mind.

2. Expanded Network

Even though you may work in the same industry as another independent professional, you will likely have different strengths and expertise. Once you develop a professional working relationship with your peers, you can rely on your network to assist when you’re unable to meet specific client needs that require work outside your skill set. An expanded network is also a great way to land referrals . If people are aware of your specific skill set, they’ll be able to recommend you when projects come up that align with your services.

3. Tips, Encouragement, and Friendships

Nobody can give you more insight into your market than an independent professional in the same market. When you collaborate instead of compete, you’ll gain valuable insight about clients, projects, and industry trends that you can’t get anywhere else. Additionally, when you’re faced with a particularly tricky obstacle, other independents will understand the type of encouragement you need to get through and succeed. You may even build long-lasting friendships!

4. Opportunity for Growth

If you’re new to self-employment, a reliable network of contacts can be a great sounding board for questions you have. Fellow independent professionals have likely tackled similar situations, and they can provide insight and guidance to help you avoid common pitfalls. Even if you’re not new to running your own business, talking through ideas or questions you have with a trusted mentor or fellow peers can provide a valuable outside perspective or inspire new ways of looking at a situation.

5. Strategic Partnerships

Working with another independent professional is an added perk to having an established network of strong relationships. Partnering with a peer can help you grow your business, share the burden of larger projects, or supplement your skill set when you need specific expertise. Not only will your client benefit from your joint knowledge, a wider breadth of skills, and a quality end product, but you’ll also have the chance to share in a collaborative project, bring new insight to the table, and ultimately create something you wouldn’t be able to do on your own.

If you’re ready to build your network in your local area, consider joining a co-working space where you can share a work environment with other independent professionals. Social media is a great way to network with other independents in other locations. LinkedIn groups, for example, can foster excellent information exchanges and could lead to new opportunities. Mastermind groups can also be invaluable for sharing knowledge and information with your peers.

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