Successful companies will have an excellent accounting team, leading marketers, a fantastic service or product and top salespeople. When there is a weak link in the chain, the whole business will consequently suffer. Smaller business may be operating a one man show and not have the financial luxury of developing a skilled team across all departments.
Small businesses can compete with the larger competition by pooling their resources and expertise by merging with similarly minded companies to achieve business goals that may have been unattainable independently.
Businesses may want to expand, develop new products or make the move into new markets. Your business expertise may lie in the product or service you offer, with little knowledge of distribution or effective selling. When three experts are pooled together to fill these requirements you have a holistic skillset that can perform effectively and efficiently.
How could partnering help your business?
Partner relationships can expand your business, develop new products or make the move into new and unknown markets. Partnering can assist as a connection to an established community and reduces your risks of entering an area with little operational knowledge. Businesses of any size can use joint ventures to strengthen long term relationships and gain access to a wider network of people, potential customers and skills.
Partnering will grow the reputation of your company when attached to a positive brand.
The risks of partnering
For a partnering relationship to succeed, it is important for partners to share a common goal and expectations. Partnering goals must compliment and not conflict with the other partner.
Partnering is not a short-term goal and the risks must be carefully considered. You will no longer be thinking independently, all decisions will be based on what is best for the majority and the partnering relationship, which may not be what is best for the individual organisation.
If the relationship is not correctly executed, it could fail which could have a negative impact on your reputation. You also take on the risk of damage to your brand by affiliation should your partner enter any disputes independently.
The partnership must be meaningful and fulfilling to both parties. Understanding all businesses involved is a fundamental pre-requisite for effective business partnering.
Who do I partner with?
Many successful business partnerships have paired on complimentary skills not similarity of service. Map your client’s ecosystem. Understand the value chain of your market and partner with those sitting in front and behind you.
Choose companies whose values and mission align with yours and whose products or services compliment your offerings.
Understand the motivation, ethics and value system of the other partner. Moreover, gain mutual respect for each business and their business mission.
Protect your assets within agreeing upon and signing a firm set of rules and expectations.