How to Use Partnerships to Grow Your Business
When companies work together for mutual benefits, they can expand their markets, develop new products or services, and raise their brand profiles. Strategic partnerships are valuable to businesses at any stage of growth since they help them increase their efficiency in many ways.
Collaborations range from primary functions like licensing another firm’s technology to minor arrangements like co-marketing products. Here’s how you can use strategic partnerships to advance your business agenda.
Get Your House in Order
Before scouting for partnerships, ensure your finances, processes, employees, and systems are running smoothly. Strategic partnerships are not remedies for the problems you are experiencing in your business but will instead make them more pronounced than they were.
Determine what you want from a strategic partnership. For instance, you may be looking to sell your products in global markets and need to partner with a company that has an international sales team. If you are in the food business and need to deliver meals to clients, you may partner with a transport company. Understanding what you will benefit from the relationship will help you narrow down your options.
Find Partners That Will Help You Tap into Your Market
Before diving into the partnership frenzy, you need to choose connections that will lead to exponential business growth. You can join a partnership marketing platform to meet other like-minded leaders across the world.
There are three areas you can align with your organization to reach out to more customers.
Promotions are an organic means of selling your products. Work with businesses that can market what you sell to reach out to more people. Promotional partners refer potential clients to your webinar, newsletter list or website to check your profile and eventually buy. The approach requires minimal effort but is highly profitable in the end.
Distribution partners ensure your products reaches as many people as possible. They do the heavy lifting and increase sales. The distributor wants to sell your products to their audiences, while you make more profits from their hard work. A good example is Udemy, which sells courses. Find significant influencers in your niche and partner with them.
Strategic partnerships can also take the form of nonprofit organizations that work on causes similar to your business objectives. Clients love buying from companies that give back to society. You can sponsor a local charity event, fundraise for local organizations, or give a nonprofit a portion of your sales.
Understand The Deliverables
Before signing a contract, ensure you clarify what every party needs to deliver upfront. Understand your partner’s goals and how the collaboration fits into their business strategy. Focus on these elements at the beginning of your partnership.
Be open from the onset, especially during negotiations. Ensure you understand their goals, and they know yours. Doing so sets the standard and helps maintain a desirable level of visibility and trust throughout the partnership.
Be flexible with your goals and timelines
Some projects don’t hit their pre-established milestones on time. Uncertainties and setbacks might come up, and you should be willing to adjust and revisit goals when the need arises.
Consider setting up bare minimum requirements to ensure some partners don’t take advantage of your flexibility. Excessive setbacks might ruin a profitable partnership.
Use similar measures of success
Agree on the key performance indicators upfront. Make sure you are on the same page regarding what determines success for both parties and make them match up.
If your goals are so different that they can’t be measured equally, set additional internal goals to ensure your partners deliver.
Cultivate The Relationship and Avoid Competing
Growing a business through partnerships is not like a regular deal in the world of sales. The partnership focuses on long-term relationship building. Therefore, they might take a while to get moving. If your products are similar, avoid competing with your strategic partners because this may cause a dent in your progression.