As you approach a new year, it is a good time to assess your growth strategies. One place to look is how you seek and build partnerships. If you have a plan for identifying your partners and creating the connections that will lift you up, you can create paths to both more opportunities and more revenue for your business.
1. Know What You Want
Before you start identifying partners, you need a clear set of goals that you want to achieve. Too many businesses try to do this in reverse: They see what feels like an attractive partnership opportunity, then create goals based on what they see or hear from that business. You need to know what you want to achieve. This will help you look with purpose for companies that can help you do so.
2. Choose Partners Carefully
Your potential business partners should complement your business by either filling in gaps you face or helping you bring in more revenue. You should look for businesses that do not directly compete with you but operate in a space that fits with what you do or want to do. Further, you should work with someone who has achieved successes that suggest credibility and reliability. Look beyond the presentations to the substance of their achievements.
3. Offer Them Something
No partnership works if both sides don't benefit. If you receive all the gains, your partner will not stick around for long. Look at the business model from which a potential partner operates, and find the spaces where you can contribute. A good exercise for you is to think of yourself as running the other business. What would you want from your company before you signed on to a partnership? If you wouldn't bring yourself in, this will not be a good partnership opportunity.
4. Present Your Case
Once you have lined up a set of mutual interests and benefits, it is time to present your case. This isn't a casual conversation. While building a personal rapport can help, you need to present data and gap analyses that show why the partnership will work. Go in to every meeting with a purpose. If your pitch doesn't show that you take the partnership seriously, there is no reason for the other business owner to think it will get better once they sign on with you.
5. Quality Over Quantity
The right partnerships can give your business a boost. Still, running your own organization well should be your focus. Don't chase every partnership opportunity out there, just to build out numbers. Every potential partner should present something unique and powerful to build what you do. One right partner will always be better than several decent ones.
Building strong business partnerships takes time and energy. When you work with another business that fits well with what you do, you improve both your prospects and theirs. Put in the effort that each partnership is worth, and 2021 can become a strong growth year.