Last Updated on December 6, 2022 by Selina Parker
Every small business needs a strategic partner. Whether you’re looking for someone to help with your marketing, accounting, or even some advice on how best to run your company – you need business relationships to be on a competitive edge and ensure business success.
But where do you find one? And how do you know when you’ve found the right business partnerships? These are questions that many entrepreneurs ask themselves during their start-up phase.
Read on below, and we’ll share ten ways to help companies form successful strategic alliances.
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT STRATEGIC PARTNER
1. LOOK OUTSIDE OF YOUR INDUSTRY
Do not limit finding strategic partners to those companies in your same industry. One of the advantages of a joint venture is that you can tap into their knowledge and share resources, which could be anything from technology to new markets.
Widen your search and include those companies in entirely different fields, and you could find a company with exactly what you need.
2. MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED AND WANT IN A PARTNER
Before finding a specific person, list the general qualities you’re looking for in a strategic partner. It will help narrow down your search and make it easier for both parties involved.
Are they technologically savvy? Do they have a similar business ethic as you do? Have you determined the size of the company that you are searching? It would be best to answer all of these questions (and more) before starting the hunt for joint ventures.
3. FIND A PARTNER WITH COMPLEMENTARY CAPABILITIES
One purpose of a business relationship is to complement the skills of the partner company. You don’t want to partner with a company that can do everything you can, but rather one with strengths where you are weak.
It will make both companies stronger, gain access to new markets and technology, and ultimately be more successful.
4. MAKE A LIST OF POTENTIAL PARTNERS
Once you have identified the qualities you are looking for in a strategic partner, list all the companies that could potentially meet these requirements.
Put them into different categories according to their industry and size so it is easier to narrow down your search when you start getting more specific with who they are.
5. RESEARCH THE COMPANY’S CULTURE AND VALUES
Have a thorough research of the company’s culture and values to make sure it aligns with your own. It is essential because, if not, you may be clashing from the very beginning, even before any business agreements are in place.
It’s also crucial that both parties clearly understand what the partnership will entail avoiding conflicts down the road.
6. NARROW DOWN YOUR PREVIOUS LIST
While doing a thorough background check on your potential partners, you should be narrowing down your list by eliminating those who do not share the same goals and dreams as you.
It is vital to avoid any disagreements or conflicts that will bring down your company’s morale. If a strategic partner does not have these qualities, it may be difficult for them to work together with your business effectively.
7. ASK YOURSELF IF THIS PERSON SHARES THE SAME GOALS AND DREAMS WITH YOU
For those that remain on your list, you should be asking yourself if the person is someone who shares the same goals and objectives with you.
It will ensure that both parties involved in this strategic partnership are looking towards a common goal and willing to help each other accomplish it.
A joint value proposition geared at your target market could help your company generate high-value content.
After all, there’s no point in agreeing with one company if they’re not going to be committed and dedicated to the same result.
8. CREATE AN ACTION PLAN FOR HOW YOU WILL MAKE THE RELATIONSHIP WORK
After choosing the potential partner and having met all the qualifications, what is next?
Strategic partnerships are a long-term commitment and should be mutually beneficial for the two companies. It would help if you created a plan on how you will make the relationship work.
It includes setting milestones, risk sharing, agreeing on communication methods, and figuring out who is responsible for what to provide more value. Doing this upfront will help avoid any problems down the line.
9. CONTACT THEM AND SET UP A MEETING
It’s time to make a move and contact them. Once you have everything in order, it’s best to set up a meeting with the person or company and see if they are interested in a strategic partnership.
This face-to-face meeting is essential to get to know each other better, discuss what the partnership will entail, such as intellectual property ownership, and answer any questions.
10. EVALUATE THE CONVERSATION AND SEE IF IT’S A GOOD FIT
After having this first discussion with them, you should evaluate how well it went to determine if they are worth pursuing or not.
If you both clicked on all levels, then congratulations! You found your strategic partner for your business venture!
Finding a strategic partner can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. If you keep these 11 tips in mind when looking for one, you’ll increase your chances of finding the right company that will help take your business to the next level!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
“What began as a life and career coaching services company to aide entrepreneurs through the early-stage challenges and tough transformations of starting a social venture has evolved over the years to include mergers and acquisitions, organizational consulting, and business growth advisory services to mission-driven organizations that strive to improve access to basic physiological, safety, and security needs while increasing their profit margin. Clients include founders and organizations with the purpose of addressing deficiencies in delivering quality healthcare and mental health services, sufficient employment, access to clean water and air, safe shelter, adequate food, and more.”