Mutual respect: How partnerships can benefit your business

Discovering mutual respect for the businesses around you can open up new opportunities and revenue streams. We take a look at how to do it.

Every business leader knows that collaborating and working together with other businesses is the best way to find success. Companies that are small and lack the resources to grow significantly in important areas can really struggle if they don’t make partnerships and work together. The tricky part of that process is finding common ground and, crucially, mutual respect, among peers and competitors.

The difficulty in running a business is that leaders are often so focussed on their own tasks that they lack an all important ‘perspective’. You might not realise it, but there are always opportunities around you to further your own business, as well as someone else’s, for the mutual benefit of both of you. Educating yourself on the businesses and opportunities around you will give you that mutual respect for others who are in the same boat as you.

The good thing about this process is that all businesses leaders are in the same boat. They work as hard as you, they have the same struggles and worries and aspirations and they likely need collaboration just as much as you do. Running a small, growing businesses is hard, and that knowledge and understanding of that difficulty makes it much easier to find that mutual respect.

Two Somerset farmers have come together to grow their businesses by pooling their resources

As seen in the video, the common purpose of the two farmers is bolstered by the mutual benefit of the separate businesses. A mutual respect and appreciation for how difficult the work is, as well as the understanding that they need to work towards a common goal in order to survive, provides them the opportunity to share land, machinery and processes and drive up their profits.

LinkAge has launched a generation spanning initiative which brings together over 55s with younger people as a way of generating mutual respect and understanding through the sharing of skills, knowledge and interests.

Working in partnership with other people, whether sociably or in business, requires patience and understanding from both parties. That understanding comes only from appreciating the other business and finding that mutual respect.

Bank of Ireland UK is developing strong partnerships with some of the UK’s most trusted brands brands. In an exclusive collaboration with The School of Life, Bank of Ireland UK has looked at some unique, inspiring partnerships all over the world to shine a light on the best ways to work in collaboration. Discover some of the most compelling stories here, and follow them on Twitter @BankofIrelandUK.

Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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