Last weekend, I attended FinCon12, and learned a great deal. One of the sessions I attended was Jim Yih‘s on the principles of blogging as a business. Jim owns Retire Happy Blog, and has built more than one successful business. Even though he focused on how to apply business principles to blogs, his information was valuable because these are business principles that anyone can use to build a successful business.

One of the most interesting points that he made involved the idea of collaboration. When you run a business, it helps to collaborate with others, and understand your limitations.

What are Your Strengths?

Jim pointed out that it helps to know your strengths. As you build your business, consider what you do well. These are the things that you should concentrate on. When you know what you do well, and what you can handle, you are more likely to focus on those things to improve your business and your situation. And, the result will be better because you understand what you are doing. Plus, you don’t have to waste time on the learning curve. You can just jump right in.

Then, identify what you don’t do so well. Collaborate with someone who can balance out your weaknesses by being strong in those areas. Jim used the example of his Retire Happy Blog. In order to improve it, he partnered with someone who could run the back end, and monetize the site. I really identified with that because Jim’s model is what inspired Tom Drake (the owner of this site) to partner with me at Planting Money Seeds.

Jim pointed out that partnering with Tom allowed him to concentrate on what he was good at, and that Tom does what he is good at. As a result, Jim’s blog went from making $200 a month to $3,000 a month. That money is split between the two of them. And, even though it’s a 50% split, Jim is still making $1,300 more a month than he was before on the blog.

Work with Others and Reap the Benefits

Take a look at your business and determine whether or not you can benefit from collaboration. Chances are that you can. Part of running a successful business is knowing when to outsource, and when to delegate. This is vital because you need to be able to focus on what will help your business grow, and focus on what you do well.

When you collaborate, you have the chance to magnify your efforts. Look for someone who can do what you can’t — or what you can’t do well. It’s also important to work with someone you can trust. There are a number of hucksters out there who are only out to take your hard-earned money. You need to vet potential collaborators so that you know that you can trust them, and so that you are sure that you will have a profitable partnership.

Do your homework, and honestly evaluate your abilities. Focus on your strengths, and collaborate with someone who does well in your areas of weakness.

What do you think of collaboration? Does it help your business?



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.