While some entrepreneurs may be hesitant to partner with other companies due to fear of misalignment, not a balanced relationship or a branding disaster, it can actually be quite beneficial if done correctly. Forming the right strategic partnership can increase your efforts in two essential areas of the business — credibility and distribution.
Be clear on your why. Often people enter into strategic partnerships because they don’t feel they have enough value on their own. Coming from this place almost never creates a mutually beneficial relationship. This is not the recipe for success.
Be clear on the value you bring to the table. Be honest about why you’re interested in creating a partnership and what you bring to the table. Be able to answer the following: “Why does this relationship benefit my professional and personal growth?” “What value do I offer to this potential partnership?” and “What do I expect to gain from this partnership?”
This is not a time to hash out your business plan or a mission and vision statement. If you don’t have clear answers to these questions, you’re not in a position to create effective connections.
Do your homework. Do not pass “go” until you have these answers covered.
Understand the why of your potential partners. Don’t hesitate to ask a potential partner why he or she is seeking to connect and what he or she is hoping to gain.
The answers are not always clear at the outset. Listen carefully to what the other party is saying. Do you have the right chemistry and a shared vision to make this relationship mutually beneficial?
If you sense resistance or a lack of clarity, postpone any decision making until your questions are answered completely and you’re confident this relationship will be profitable and beneficial to you both.
Do your whys match? Seek commonality and a shared vision. Do you see this partnership as boosting the vision of both sides? Do you share the same excitement and passion for what you do and how you want to grow?
Certainly everyone comes with different strengths and weaknesses, however, the best partnerships work because the vision and values are shared as well as passion and enthusiasm. These can carry the partnership through any sticking points in negotiations. Remember, the best partnerships work most smoothly when each party’s strengths shore up the connection to create elevated and shared success.