Building strong alliances and strategic partnership relationships with both industry and local businesses should be a top priority for any entrepreneur or business owner who wants to rapidly expand their customer base and market reach, broaden their product and service portfolio, and improve sales and profits.
There are a number of compelling business and economic reasons why you should be selling with and through partners, beyond the obvious that direct 1-to-1 selling is the most expensive way to grow.
For solopreneurs and business owners, identifying potential partners and cultivating those key strategic relationships should be an integral part of your ongoing networking and business development activities. Formalize these discussions through meetings with “like-minded” business owners with similar goals, who are open to partnership arrangements.
How do I source potential partners and determine the optimal partnership arrangements for my business situation?
A great way to identify potential partners that are a good match for your business situation is to evaluate your current supply chain relationships. Who are you doing business with today, and who is doing business with you? See if synergy opportunities exist to broaden those customer- supplier relationships, and then start a dialogue.
Partnerships represent indirect sales channels for your business and offer access to potentially lucrative new geographic markets, emerging products and services, and future profits.
The goal of partnership agreements should be to forge “win-win” relationships that benefit both parties. For any solopreneur or small business owner, it’s important to strike a balance between your direct and indirect sales activities. This will enable you to profitably manage growth, while delivering greater value to customers. You’ll need to determine the “best fit” for your business.
How have you created strategic relationships? What has worked for you? What hasn’t? Comment below.