Tools for Building Business Partnerships

These day’s small business owners have access to very powerful tools to build business partnerships and manage them efficiently. Utilizing cloud based document and customer relationship management software combined with social focused communication tools, many of the traditional pitfalls of building business partnerships can effectively be avoided. If a potential partner is not open to using some of these types of services to build a strong foundation for the relationship this could be a red flag and a company to avoid partnering with.

Keeping track of information and being able to pull up customer data on the fly is important not only to sell to a customer, but to ensure that they are serviced properly and remain happy customers well into the future.  It is also vital to have open communication between company executives and other team members and by using online solutions, it’s possible to have several methods for communicating while at the same time keeping costs down.

The following tools are proven to be very effective in building business partnerships and all have options perfect for the small business budget.

ZohoCRM – is a simple to set up and use customer relationship management software. All of the data is saved in the cloud and is accessible through any web browser. Due to its low cost per seat, setting up a specific CRM database for each partnership is cost effective as only the team members that need access can be granted accounts and access to the customer information that they need.

Dropbox – is an online document storage service that allows teams to easily share documents between each other. Dropbox is perfect for business development team members that may need to have access to a wide array of agreements, marketing collateral and other important business documents while vetting potential partners. Team members can access the files from an Apple iPad or smartphone and share instantly with business counterparts.

GoogleGroups – is a quick an easy way to set up a collaboration environment to share information back and forth with others. This is excellent for discussing partnership activities, especially when many people need to be involved with the decision making process.

Basecamp – is project management software that is simple to set up and has excellent features that help everyone involved in building a business partnership keep up to date with current activities. This is an especially helpful tool for companies setting up multiple partnerships as it is easy to create templates for all of the required actions. Most plans for implementing a new business partnership will have the same tasks and this tool will allow you to build each new partnership out according to spec every time without missing any important steps and keep everyone abreast of the partnerships status.

There are many more online tools for building business partnerships and you can research and find services that may be more suitable for your business. However, using a combination of tools listed above will increase your chances for successful implementation. Most services have a low cost or free trial so take the time to test the different services to determine which ones fit your needs. Keep track of important data and have access to it while maintaining open communication with business partners and the relationship will be on the right track.

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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