Business to business partnerships allow companies to rapidly grow in ways that they may not be able to achieve on their own. A successful partnership can reduce financial burdens associated with acquiring new customers, providing expertise in specific fields and expand product lines and service capabilities. However, many partnerships fail shortly after agreements are signed, due to an inability to resolve conflicts that occur during the implementation of the business deal. Even small issues can turn into huge problems that destroy an otherwise successful business to business partnership. The following ideas are important to keep in mind during the process of setting up and deploying new business relationships.
- Find mutual benefits to the partnership – Ensuring that the partnership delivers significant value to both parties will force resolution to problems quickly rather than issues lingering due to a lack of motivation in the relationship.
- Clearly define partner roles – By keeping everyone very clear about their roles and purpose in the partnership, everyone knows what they will be held accountable for.
- Identify partner priorities – It’s important for both businesses to feel that the other partner knows what they need from the relationship.
- Delegate to team members – Business executives on both sides should delegate to their team to implement the partnership deal. Therefore keeping their teams in the loop about what is expected from the relationship and when it is necessary to get management involved in an issue.
- Develop goals – Set up goals for the relationship to determine not only the success of the business to business partnership but also to gauge the value that your partners are putting into the deal.
- Identify problems early – When a situation comes up look at the reactions of your business partner to understand how critical they find the issue to be. This will help you learn more about your partner and allow you to adjust how the business relationship is executed moving forward.
- Win-win negotiations – When a partnership is built around a well thought out and mutually beneficial scenario both businesses profit. This way there is a much higher rate of success versus partnerships where a company feels they’re being pushed into the relationship because they need the opportunity.
- Brainstorm solutions with partners – There will always be unforeseen challenges in any new business partnership. However; it’s best when making any adjustments or changes that you meet with your partner as they may have recognized the same problem from a different angle and have good ideas for fixing the issue as well.
Building a business to business partnership is never easy, but when you find the right people it’s best to do what ever you can to make the relationship work if it will help your company grow. Keep open communication between you and your team and the partner company and most issues can be resolved with mutual agreement.
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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