An important factor of any business growth strategy, and one that many professional people have asked me is ‘What exactly is a strategic partnerships?’ More than this, they are always interested to find out why they are so important and how can you make one successful for your business?
The first thing to note is that such partnerships are not an exact science and forming them is always different from one partner to the next – I’m no expert and I’m yet to meet one. However, our company has had a great deal of success and growth from forming such partnerships – so much so, we constantly focus our Business Development on developing the right new ones and furthering our existing ones.
From my experience, the most successful results have come from entering such a partnership with an open mind and the patience that over a good period of time, partnerships can bring significant mutual win:win reward.
When we started the company back in 2012, we had real intent to make this a business about partnerships – even putting it in our title. What we have discovered along the way is that such partnerships can be formed at many levels and from many angles;
- Business partners
- Colleagues and departments
- Personal relationships – friends and family
- Key advisers
- Same sector service providers (initially perceived competition)
Although the focus of the partnership (through activities and outputs) needs to be different for every partner, if you’re looking to create successful partnerships, the thought process and initial approach need to be similar every time.
We believe there are four principles to creating the best and most effective partnerships:
TRUST – do you share common goals and values? For long term success and the ability to share sensitive information such as data there can be no hidden agendas or alterior motives.
VALUE – are you creating an environment that creates mutual long-term value and a reliable service for each other? You need to be constantly pro-active in this and be thinking about every stakeholder and not just your own short-term gains. Leadership, service standards and the ability to potentially deliver at scale are imperative between large organisations or highly ambitious scale up companies.
PERFORMANCE – for such partnerships to breed long-term success, they must be continually evaluated and re-calibrated. Regular review points booked in the diary keep contact and thinking aligned. Success may not be registered in the same way for both companies and so other ways of recording success can be discovered. For example, one company could be excellent and handing over direct leads, whereas the other excels in customer advocacy – begin to think about what can be learnt and traded here.
PEOPLE & CULTURE – This links back trust. Does the organisation you are exploring partnership with have a similar culture? Do they share your beliefs? Your morals? Your ambition? Look at how well the leadership and wider employee base get on. Research and look to get several key persons from across the organisations to meet up or video conference. Are relationships between teams natural and easy? Would you be happy having a social meet up together? Look at your client bases, are they similar and aligned to your existing and ideal target customers?
With social media marketing channels and email marketing becoming something of a saturated field – filled with noisy and very often poor content, the need for strategic partnerships as a key route to market seems to be arriving.
With the right mindset, you can achieve significant business revenue growth through carefully nurtured business partnerships.
To find out more about strategic business partnerships and how to create your own network for growth, visit advantage business partnerships website today.