01 Jul Two heads are better than one
There’s no better approach to solving challenges than with the famous saying, “Two heads are better than one.” Whether you want to strengthen internal partnerships between your colleagues or join forces with another business, strategic partnerships drive the innovation that delivers on what your clients want today and predicts what they will want in the future.
In today’s ever changing market, a do-it-alone approach may limit growth. Collaborating with other companies builds brand traction, expands your outreach, and allows you access to additional resources and talent. While the rewards are great, creating any long-lasting relationship should be a carefully planned and executed process. Here’s how to take your strategic partnership from the initial emails phase to the deal-closing handshake.
- Define your “why.” Every partnership, big or small, works best when both parties are working towards a common goal. A common purpose will act as the glue that holds your partnership together, reminding you of why and how you plan to provide your clients with a stand-out experience. It’s helpful to write down a mission statement or a list of shared values at the start of the process to act as a company culture for the duration of the partnership. At the end of the day, you are still two separate companies with different long-term agendas, which may create friction. Address problems as soon as they arise, keeping your “why” in mind as you go.
- Take your time. Building a relationship takes time and effort, so don’t rush the process. Get to know your new coworkers on a personal and professional level, scheduling as many meetings or coffee dates as it takes to establish a clear sense of who each of you are. Diving deep into your shared and individual business goals may spark new ideas and expose more opportunity for collaboration. If you sense any red flags, slow down to be sure that everyone is on the same page and is equally committed.
- Set boundaries. Creating partnership parameters will bring structure and meaning to the partnership, and could minimize misunderstandings. Instead of letting unclear expectations get in the way of what you are trying to create, come to an agreement about the roles and responsibilities of each partner. But before you sign anything, be sure that both parties are able to fulfill their ends of the bargain.
- Learn from each other’s strengths. The most successful strategic partnerships enable companies to showcase their talent while learning how to improve. Every business has unique strengths, so creating a strategy that plays to those strengths will generate creative solutions and allow you both to shine.
Big breakthroughs rarely happen alone. Collaborating with partners generates the creativity needed to overcome obstacles and fuel innovation. SmartMarketing can help you develop value-based strategic partnerships that ensure successful outcomes for all.