Forging strategic partnerships can be a great asset in promoting business growth, but it goes both ways. Strong partnerships aren’t solo operations – you should always approach them with a “Givers Gain” set of mind. The more you give, the more you gain. But how do you arrive there? Follow these tips for guidance.
Determine the Type of Partnership Best Suited for Your Business
To get started, you’ll need to align your business goals with an organization that can complement and fuel your success. Likewise, you’ll need to bring something to the table to garner their interest. Consider the following types of partnerships to narrow your focus:
- Distribution – Find influencers within your niche and have them promote/distribute your product to their established audience (the catch: bring an amazing product to the table that their target audience can’t refuse)
- Promotion – Grow your social impact by working together to send customers to each other’s websites, webinars, or newsletter lists to sign up
- Social Good – Partner with nonprofit organizations or local charities that align with your values to boost exposure and nurture a brand reputation communities can get behind
Prioritize Your Partnerships
As you’re seeking candidates to grow strong partnerships with, be sure to prioritize your efforts and pitch only to organizations where you truly see a potential for growth. Otherwise, you’re wasting their time and yours (and we know you’re busy). That being said, be sure to hear out other businesses during their pitches to you so that you can truly narrow your focus and decide which partnerships will have the most potential impact.
If You Get Into a Long-Term Relationship… Make Sure It’s an Open One
One of the most critical aspects of growing strong partnerships (notice that’s plural) for your business is that you avoid exclusivity and keep your exit options open. Sometimes partnerships take off naturally, other times trial and error reveals that it’s not a good fit after all. As you work through the terms of your partnership agreement at the beginning, make it clear that you are not willing to lock into a restrictive long-term agreement (but that you are willing to work hard for the mutual benefit and success of the partnership, as long as they commit to the same). Much like we’d advise you to get out of a romantic relationship that isn’t contributing to your personal growth, we recommend not sticking around when a dysfunctional partnership has fallen stagnant.
Remember: Successful partnerships can turn into power teams that truly change the world! Check out this article to learn more about 10 super successful cofounders and why their partnerships worked.