Time to work together?

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Partner to Succeed programme director Tim Bryant charts the top areas of focus for Cornwall’s business community

What are your top five business priorities for this year? How are you getting on with achieving them so far? How similar do you feel your answers will be when compared with other businesses?

Despite the huge variety of modern businesses, aren’t we all striving to achieve increasingly similar things?

Cornwall’s first-ever Business Collaboration Survey* independently conducted by PFA Research Ltd on behalf of Partner to Succeed last year, suggests that the top five areas of focus for Cornish-based businesses in 2011 will be:

  1. Increasing sales
  2. Accessing new markets
  3. Developing new products
  4. Improving productivity
  5. Reducing costs

How do these priorities match with your own? Interestingly, these locally sourced findings (involving 108 Cornish- based businesses) appear to be very much in line with other national and international business surveys profiling business priorities for the year ahead.

For example, the Gartner CIO Agenda Survey 2011 released last month (involving 2,000 Global CIOs (Chief Information Officers) reveals that two of their collective top five business priorities for the year ahead focus on improving efficiency, whilst the remaining three priorities focus upon creating growth and new revenue streams.

Collective Business Priorities

It would appear then, that collectively we are all pretty clear about our intended direction of travel for the year ahead, the challenge confronting us all is perhaps less about specifically where we are heading and more about the individual route we each intend to use to get us there? But do we actually need to travel this route alone? Shouldn’t we all be taking advantage of how similar our collective priorities are right now and set about creating new ways of working together for both our individual and mutual benefits?

Businesses that engage in partnership activity of any type – be it a short-term collaboration project, a specific joint-venture or a strategic alliance are all predominantly seeking to achieve the same outcomes – an improvement in overall results combined with a lowering of overall costs.

In this regard, partnership working, when conducted effectively, can quickly deliver this unique win-win for all involved parties. In our experience, most businesses today instinctively feel that they want to collaborate with others, however an even greater number are simply unsure about how to do go about doing so effectively and professionally.

As a consequence, their operations remain predominantly insular in nature, and their ability to be open to working with other businesses and collaborate lessens over time. This is precisely where Partner to Succeed can assist and bring immediate added value to your business. Effectively acting as your ‘third-business partner’ we are actively managing and supporting over 50 exciting and varied partnership projects involving a wide-variety of ambitious Cornish-based SME’s.

We are witnessing at first-hand the critical success factors involved in ensuring that partnership working can indeed be profitable and successful for Cornish-based businesses. It’s a developing legacy of expertise that we are very keen to share with as many collaborative-minded businesses as possible.

Please feel free to contact me direct at tim.bryant@ytko.com and share with us your experiences of partnership working – we’re looking forward to hearing from you.

www.partnertosucceed.co.uk

This article first appeared in the March 2011 issue of Business Cornwall magazine