What is a strategic partnership? Often called a strategic alliance, a strategic partnership is an arrangement between two companies to work together in ways that mutually benefit both parties. A strategic partnership can aid your company in developing a new product or service, could help you gain exposure to new target markets, may enhance your brand profile, can aid you in expanding geographic reach, and much more. Solid strategic partnerships has multiple mutual benefits to both parties.
So how do you go about seeking strategic partners that will positively impact your bottom line and enhance your business? Here are a few steps to consider:
Before you consider partnering with anyone, it’s important to be sure that you have careful control over you finances, your employees and all company systems and processes. Strategic partnerships will not correct problems in these areas. In fact, most partnerships will showcase and spotlight problems, so it’s important to make sure you have your house in order before you seek alignment with others on the outside. First, get organized. Then move forward.
What are your goals?
Do you know what you expect from strategic partnerships? It’s important to get some goals down on paper to help you get organized and know how to proceed. Do you want to expand geographically? Do you desire to reach a new target market? Do you want to expand to a new sub-industry? It’s important to know your goal or goals for strategic partnership. Develop a detailed business plan that contains carefully-defined and specific goals in regards to strategic partnership. Carefully outline how an ideal partnership will help your company achieve each specific goal. Include targets, numbers and specific deliverables. The more you plan ahead, the better your chances for success.
Who are your potential partners?
Carefully outlining your goals and expected outcomes can go a long way toward helping you define your potential strategic partners. After you come up with a short list of those you might like to reach out to, do some additional research. Check reputations online. Understand who else potential partners may be affiliated with. Consult your attorney. Be fully prepared and informed before you every reach out to an individual or organization to propose partnership in order to protect yourself and your business from negative impacts. Carefully identify the partners who can have the most potential impact on your business – who can make you money or enhance your reputation? Who can bring your customers, showcase your products, expand your customer reach and more? Do your homework, then prepare to reach out to potential partners.
Keep your options open
Even after you have worked out details and negotiated terms, it’s a good idea to consider a trial period with potential partners to make sure that both of you are satisfied with the arrangement. This allows time for you to get to know each other, to communicate freely as you work to mutually benefit each other and to examine and refine goals, expectations and outcomes. Nurture the relationship during this time. If goals aren’t met, discuss successes and failures to determine next steps. Make sure your trial period is long enough to get a true picture of your potential relationship together. Give the relationship a chance to grow, develop a mature…but give yourself an out if you feel you are taking too big a risk.
Whether you are in a trial period or a longer contact, it is crucial to consult with legal counsel each step of the way. Be sure to have your bases covered legally in the event that things go awry.
Business partnerships require attention, time and careful consideration to make them successful. And constant re-evaluation is needed to ensure continued success. But they can yield amazing results for both parties.
Are you looking for ways to utilize strategic partnerships to boost your overall company success? We can help you develop a unique plan that reflects your goals, values and ideals. Contact the experts at Wild Coffee HR today. We love partnering with companies to help them thrive. It’s what we do.