Knowing how to join forces with another business is a key factor in making any growing company successful.
A strategic partner can provide you with capital, or let you leverage their brand to give you more exposure. They can help you win business by offering services that you don't have.
When it works well, a strategic partnership can be just what you need to speed up the growth of your business.
Here some valuable insight as to how strategic partnerships benefit small business.
1. Find The Right Partner
This is the same evaluation process you used in finding your key hires. You’ll be working closely together, so it’s important to have a good connection. Don’t be afraid to trust your gut. If your instincts tell you that something isn’t right, even when everything looks good, it’s smart to be cautious.
Making sure all parties are on the same page greatly improves your chances of a good outcome. It also gives you benchmarks for measuring a project’s success. Understand what you want to get out of a partnership, and have a rock-solid grasp of your partner’s goals. This will make sure that everyone is aligned and has the same or complementary visions.
3. Honestly Evaluate Your Own Company
Be honest about your own weaknesses and gaps. Trying to do too much at once is something we all experience, and it can be hard to let go. This is especially true when you’re passionate about your idea or product. But seeking partners who are experts in a particular area will free you up to focus on your core competencies. You’ll be able to focus on the critical activities that keep your business functioning.
4. Understand What Makes Your Business Unique
Having a clear grasp of your own intellectual property and the value you bring to a partnership will help you negotiate the terms of any agreement. It also helps to determine when you should work with a partner or do the work in house.
5. Do Your Research
You need to be confident that a partner can deliver what they’re promising before you enter into any kind of relationship. Ask your network for recommendations and look for businesses with an established track record. Always ask to see evidence of results.
6. Keep Communicating
Once you’ve found a great partner, established a good relationship and figured out your objectives, don’t forget to keep communicating. Maintain contact with frequent check-ins to talk through any problems. This will keep confidence levels high on both sides, and means you can deal with any unexpected issues or changes swiftly.
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