strategic partnerships and networking

Very few people operate in a vacuum.  Most of us require and enjoy the support of our friends, family, and community to help us lead more productive and happier lives.  The same is true of all businesses and especially small to mid-size businesses.  

Partnerships with other individuals, organizations, and businesses are critically important to an organization’s ability to grow and thrive within its’ community.  If your business doesn’t utilize strategic partners, now is the time to identify and leverage these partnerships to your own advantage.

What is a strategic partner?  A strategic partner is another business, organization, or individual that your business collaborates with to help both you and the other organization achieve a greater level of success.  Strategic partners can come in the form of like-minded businesses, marketing groups, non-profit organizations, trade or business organizations, community leaders and influencers within your specific trade.

The key to a strategic partnership is defining the relationship in a way that helps you both achieve more towards your bottom lines.  These partnerships are not one-sided, there is a definite give and take as one would expect with any kind of successful relationship.  

For example, a downtown restaurant with a private event space might seek to partner with either their local Small Business Administration (SBA) chapter or marketing professionals trade group. The restaurant could offer the space to the organization at a highly discounted rate for monthly happy hours or meetings.  In return, each month they have a captive audience of marketing professionals in their event space and also a great opportunity to subtly sell these professionals on using the space for their next corporate event.  Both organizations win in this relationship, and together both thrive.  For the trade group, they’ve received a big discount and a location for required monthly gatherings which in turn allows them to spend their money on projects that support their bottom line.  The local restaurant gets a captive audience of potential sales leads for their event space each month.  It’s a win-win situation for all.

This example is just one in a million.  Every type of business from tech, to service, to B2B can and should utilize strategic partnerships.  The biggest challenge is selecting a partner that will be a good fit for your business; and then further, clearly defining the roles and expectations for each partner in the relationship.  These relationships often take a bit of creativity, a big picture perspective from both parties, and quite a bit of negotiation to set-up.  But the benefits of strategic partnerships far outweigh the cost of the effort as they can help any type of business grow and thrive in new ways.  

Of course if the whole idea of seeking out strategic partnerships sounds great, but is outside of your current bandwidth, give us a call, we can help!

 

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