Small business owners seeking to build business partnerships with larger companies to reach more customers and grow their business need to evaluate several things before engaging with Fortune 1000 companies about creating a partnership. Ask yourself a couple of important questions; “What competitive advantages does my business bring to the table?” “Is my company capable of supporting the demand that a large established business can bring?” These are only a couple key points to take into consideration. Small business owners are sometimes overly eager to dive into a large business deal simply because it’s hard not to get excited about it especially if the bigger company is the one initiating the discussions. The following ideas are critical to understand before building business partnerships in order to maximize the opportunity and have the teams in place to execute the plans.
- Competitive Advantage – Understand the true competitive advantages of your business and why your company would make an attractive partner for a larger organization. Each company will have its own unique benefits however; it will generally revolve around the intellectual property behind your products. If you have developed a new product, make sure you’ve taken the time to properly secure the appropriate patents otherwise the barrier to entry for another company to develop a similar product is very low and reduces your competitive advantage significantly.
- Expert Knowledge– Many small businesses are able to build very lucrative partnerships simply because they have a monopoly on expert knowledge in a very specific niche within the industry that you service. Keeping your team together and on board for the long haul will ensure that you don’t lose the talent that makes a business deal with your company attractive.
- Continue to Innovate – In order to maintain and strengthen your business partnerships after they’ve been formed, keep innovating and improving on the core products and services that are related to your business relationships. By showcasing to partners that your company is consistently on the forefront of new ideas for your types of products they will be less likely to leave and form partnerships with your competition or renegotiate with you lowering the overall value of the deal for your business.
Building and maintaining strong business partnerships as a small business owner is not a simple task and requires a significant investment of time by the executive management team. By focusing energy on what a fortune 1000 company sees as reasons to form a partnership with your company and continuing to expand on the products and services you will be able to take your small business to new heights with a greater return than would be experienced by settling for doing deals with other small businesses and regional players in the industry you service.
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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