Developing strategic business partnerships should be part of every small business owner’s growth plan for the company. A strategic business partnership has several benefits for the companies involved including: access to existing customers, quick penetration into new markets, enhanced branding, and others that may not be so apparent such as cost reduction benefits from utilizing a partners employee base or getting price breaks from suppliers due to an increase in orders to fulfill new demand. The best business executives and small business owners understand that it is very difficult to execute growth plans alone and aligning with other companies that have mutual interests and a shared target demographic is the right solution. Building a successful business partnership has its difficulties and limitations as well, but the time spent in researching, negotiating, and finally implementing a new strategic business partnership can result in a tremendous return of investment that would rival any internal efforts in the same amount of time.
Find New Customers in Target Markets
The cost of acquiring a new customer is never cheap. However; by aligning with the right partners that can deliver clients a small business can then focus on providing a high level of customer service and getting the most out of what strategic business relationships provide. After a company’s executives have decided that forming business partnerships is the right path for the business, it’s important to research and identify a strategic business partner that can either lead you to many future business partners or has a large existing customer base in the area you intend to service. Just because a company has a large number of customers and they’re in a similar industry does not always mean they will be the right choice. The potential new customers need to be in a geographic location that you can easily service unless the partner is willing to take on additional roles and responsibilities, which could range from sales calls to product delivery to customer service.
Strengthen Brand and Marketing Capabilities
The right strategic business partner should elevate the business’s brand and reputation in the industry that it services. When researching and identifying a partner make sure to take note of how the other company is viewed by its customers, competitors, and the market in general as any positive or negatives will rub off on your brand due to the execution of a business partnership. This can be the quickest way for a small business to achieve name recognition within its industry, by developing a relationship with a large business that already commands respect and is known for delivery high quality products and services with excellent customer care. It is critical during negotiations to fight for co-branding, which may be difficult depending on the nature of the business relationship. If a major concern is being overshadowed by a partner in marketing due to their size and resources than it’s important to make those concerns known prior to moving forward. However, for many small business owners the right strategic partner may be simply white labeling the product or service and not co-branding at all in order to provide a seamless experience for their customers. If the revenue numbers are going to be high enough does it really matter, whether or not the end customer knows the brand?
Growing a business is never easy, but with great partners it can be much more rewarding experience. A small business owner that embraces the ideas of forming strategic business partnerships that are mutually beneficial is much more likely to succeed than the one that wants to go it alone or do it their own way every time.
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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