When you go into business, you might not give any thought to starting a partnership with another company, or even multiple companies. Your plan might be to work alone until the day you retire. However, all plans should be subject to change if circumstances change, and it might be that a partnership is the best move you can make. If you work things out properly, partnerships between different businesses can strengthen them both, and make more profits in total.
Yet, if you do choose to start a partnership, there are some things to bear in mind. Making a mistake could put your business at risk, either through malicious intent from the other party, or simply because the plans were not well thought through. With this in mind, here are some things to consider before establishing a partnership with anyone else.
Define What You Are Looking For
There must be a good reason behind why you want to form a partnership with another brand. There must be positive outcomes planned for both you and the other company. This is why you have chosen to go down this route in the first place, and it’s why you need to list out exactly what it is you’re looking for from the partnership. The other business should do the same – one-sided partnerships are not healthy and will lead to problems.
Once you know what it is you want from a partnership, it will be easier to determine whether the one you are considering is going to help you or not. Partnering with everyone who asks you to just because you want as many options as possible isn’t going to be of use if those connections aren’t beneficial to your goals.
Have Systems in Place
If you want to form strong partnerships, then it’s wise to have systems in place before you start approaching other companies. If you have everything ready, it will be easier for them to see the value in what you are proposing, and to agree to your terms. Such systems will often revolve around technology. For example, you can manage the complexity of modern Co-Selling, Co-Marketing, and Co-Solutioning with an Ecosystem Management platform.
As well as having the right tech in place, you need to have a strong business plan and an idea of exactly how the two businesses can work together to make both better. Be prepared to give a presentation or provide evidence of this, so that the other business owner can feel happier about the idea.
You should know what is best for your business. You have been there since it was created – even before it was created, in fact – and you know what it will take to grow and develop it and ensure it reaches the next level. If that means a specific partnership, then you’ll potentially need to be persistent in attempting to make that happen.
Not all business owners are open to the idea of collaborating, and it can take some time and good negotiation skills to get anywhere with your plans. The key is to stay persistent and not give up until you are sure you have explored every avenue. If you want your business to succeed, you need to push it as far as possible.