A strategic partnership is a key to increasing your bottom line regardless of the size or industry of your business. Developing these relationships, however, doesn't come easily. Make sure the relationship is mutually beneficial for both parties by taking a strategic approach.
To grow your business, here are some tips for forming and leveraging strategic partnerships.
1. Establish clear objectives
A partnership is doomed to fail if you enter into it blindly without understanding its objectives. It's not a good approach to generating results.
Establishing clear objectives is the first step in creating mutually beneficial strategic partnerships. What is your goal? What do you expect from the partnership?
You cannot merely state that you wish to increase sales. You need to be more precise as to what you want to achieve in order to approach potential partners.
If you are looking to expand your reach abroad, you should look for distribution partners who can assist you. In cases where you are a marketing agency and your customers ask for services you do not provide, you will have to find partners who can fill that gap.
2. Discover strategic partners
It is now time to search for potential businesses to approach. Start by looking within your local community. Would any of these businesses be able to assist you in your endeavor? Who are their current partners?
Consider using sites like LinkedIn to find even more organizations that could work with you if you extend your search.
Additionally, you may want to tap into your own network of professionals. You shouldn't be shy about asking for connections from friends and acquaintances, even if they're in completely different fields.
3. Determine whether a partner will be a good match
There is a good reason why many companies are cautious about partnering with other companies. If there are no benefits to partnering, then a company will not be motivated to do so. The same applies here.
List the benefits that you can offer to potential strategic partners. Are there any weaknesses in their business? What products do you offer that they might find useful? Can you fill any "gaps" they may have?
Another consideration to make is whether the partner you're considering aligns with your core values. Suppose one of your business values is reducing your environmental impact. Then you should look for partners who share your commitment.
While this isn't necessary, taking this step can be beneficial when making a proposal.
4. Examine your resources
You should have the resources to complete your end of a strategic partnership before you agree to it. Do you have the ability to deliver if a company wants to work with you on their project?
If not, you will need to hire more staff or get funding to get the equipment you need. You shouldn't take on new work if you are not able to handle it.
You may lose your partnership if a partner cannot count on you to fulfill your obligations. That could negatively affect your reputation.
5. Create and maintain relationships
Getting in touch with a company and making a proposal shouldn't be your first step. Study as much about the company as you can. Find out about its current state and what their long-term goals are.
Make connections with the company's key stakeholders and form relationships with them. This may require sharing resources and engaging in face-to-face communication. Maintain the conversation before contacting them.
6. Create a proposal
Following your relationship building, you need to approach potential partners and propose a partnership. Tell them more about your company and why you would be a good fit for them.
A proposal that highlights your company's benefits will make companies more eager to work with you. You may find that if you simply describe what a company can do for you, they will not be inclined to accept your offer. Maybe they won't even respond.
7. Make sure everything is in writing
Having a legally binding contract is not necessary for every partnership. Sometimes, partnerships can begin with a handshake. Although having a signed agreement is a good idea, especially if money is changing hands.
It's important that you get the terms in writing before you enter into any strategic partnership. It is beneficial to have written agreements so that any misunderstandings can be avoided and disputes can be settled. Additionally, they provide protection in the event that a partner company decides to end the relationship.
You may find details in a written agreement, such as what resources your company will provide, how you will be remunerated, and more. The agreement may also specify exclusivity.
8. Maintain a communication channel
You cannot simply expect things to work out on their own after signing a written agreement with a partner. Developing that partnership requires time and effort on both sides, if you want to make sure things work out.
Provide easy access to your company and ensure it is responsive. Consider hiring a team to manage those relationships if you plan on bringing on a lot of partnerships. Meet with your partners regularly to discuss the results and make any necessary changes.
9. Keep track of your goals
Working with another company will require that you remain focused on your goals. Are you seeing the benefits of the strategic partnership in your bottom line? Are you not seeing the results you were anticipating?
If not, there are two approaches you can take. Get in touch with the partner in question and ask how you can improve your relationship. If the partnership isn't working, don't be afraid to end it and find another organization.
10. Always keep growing
A strategic partnership is an effective way to build your own brand and credibility. Through those relationships, you can form partnerships with larger, more well-known brands. Through this, you can continue to grow your business.
It has been proven that strategic partnerships can help your business grow. Through them, you can gain more exposure and reach new customers.
It needs to be more of a priority to establish partnerships with other companies. Consider some of the tips outlined here in order to form and leverage strategic partnerships to increase revenues for your business.
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