Just as with humans, isolation puts businesses at risk. Therefore, fostering relationships with other persons or companies can be viewed both as a lifeline and a sure route to success. Strategic partnerships, paired with a purpose and an expert team to execute, also equips both parties to weather challenging times. However, while these same partnerships can act as a silver bullet in a particular situation, when done haphazardly, they can be the poison that kills business.
That is where the strategic part of the term comes into play. Whether long or short term, the ultimate purpose of strategic partnerships is to fulfill the interests of both parties, create an edge over competitors and ultimately rake in profits. It is similar essentially the principle of “two heads are better than one” in business.
Selecting a strategic partner
Narrowly put, a strategic partner is a name given to the entity you come together with to attain more success. The process begins with the identification of what goals an individual company hopes to accomplish. An example would be reaching out to new territories or lowering production costs. The next step is determining how the execution of the same can happen and in a matter that creates a competitive advantage for the company. Knowing what that looks like will help narrow the list of potential partners.
The next step is researching the companies shortlisted to see which ones align with your organizational vision and values. Additionally, you want to find companies that have sound business strategies, have proven themselves to be creative and with admirable work ethic and achievements. This step is significant; you don’t want to partner with someone only to find out the support an extremist organization when you purpose to serve all people equally.
Confirm the Strategic Alignment
Another critical factor in developing strategic partnerships is they need to make sense — a skylight installation business partners better with a roofing company and not a flooring company. When equally yoked, each will feel a positive impact and appreciate what their partner is bringing to the table. Once you single out a business, reach out to them and being the process of forming the partnerships.
It is vital that the definition of success is mutual and understood by both parties. That means that both parties have to lay out expectations they have for each other and what the deliverables will be for a seamless partnership. It is a delicate process, as you don’t want any side to feel they are giving more than the other. The process does have to be legal; that way you have an entity to turn to when you are unable to solve disputes.
If you find your business to be struggling, consider forming strategic partnerships. They just might be your saving grace.