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5.3 Barriers

 

Even though business collaboration has often been recognised as beneficial for small SMEs it has been found out that 70% of all the collaboration projects fail. Mostly, this is due to various barriers that companies encounter, not knowing how to overcome them. It could be that SMEs have more limited financial and human resources, and therefore, they are also less ready to access relevant information and account for shorter time horizons. In addition, they are generally more risk averse and reluctant to engage outside help, except for very specific short-time needs.

The first reason why the majority of SMEs do not take full advantage of networking opportunities is their lack of motivation to do so. When this obstacle is overcome and a company decides to collaborate, they often experience difficulties in devising and implementing their networking strategy. The difficulties arise due to:

  • High demand for resources, particularly related to management that are required for initiating and sustaining a participation in cooperative venture
  • Need to commit resources for a long period
  • Difficulty of gaining enough influence within a network to justify such substantial investment and long time commitment.
  • According to the survey prepared by the “Collaborate to Compete” team, the biggest perceived barriers to collaboration are:

  • lack of collaboration opportunities,
  • lack of access to sophisticated partners,
  • uncertainty of outcomes,
  • lack of visibility on areas where to collaborate,
  • too time consuming,
  • lack of trust
  • and lack of tools and knowledge on how to collaborate.
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