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12 Tips for Achieving A Successful Business Partnership and Alliance


One way to grow a company may it be a small business or an already growing one – is to enter partnerships and alliances. Business partnerships are beneficial to both parties and create opportunities to grow and scale.

Many businesses realize this and are looking for business partners with similar short-term and long-term goals to do business with. A business alliance is also known as strategic alliance.

It brings advantages such as: access to a new market, sharing knowledge and resources, creating economies at scale and many more.

However, not everybody succeeds at partnerships and alliances. The most successful ones are those who have a structured approach. Below, we have summarized 15 important elements of successful business partnerships.

  1. Define your purpose of entering the partnership – Be clear within your organization the specific reasons why you are entering a partnership. Avoid the mistakes of many who enter an alliance for vague reasons such as expanding or feeling like they should do something with the other company.
  2. Create a matrix – Be prepared with a matrix before approaching for an alliance. This matrix should lay out the contribution, needs, responsibilities, and benefits of both parties.
  3. Gain support from the management – A partnership comes with an operational process and is not just a one-off agreement. Meaning, you will be needing the support of the higher management and entre organization as you go further. You cannot afford for them to be roadblocks when you’re already in the middle of implementation.
  4. Clarify roles – Map out your roles and the role expected from the partner. This way there is clear understanding and you can avoid omission of responsibilities. Both parties can also be accountable for the role given to them.
  5. Have a three-way value proposition – Make sure that the partnership’s purpose is three-way beneficial to you, your partner organization, as well as the customers.
  6. Create a Structured Strategic Partnership – Knowing your goal for initiating this partnership, lay out how you and your partner company will get to that goal. Create a structure and build the strategy that bridges you to the goal. This includes defining your responsibilities, setting targets, deciding on methods, creating a timeline, and measuring. having his makes it easier for both parties to measure the value of the alliance.
  7. Agree on a set of partnership core values including trust – Being two different bodies and cultures, this will bridge the differences and guide both parties especially in times of committee meetings and decision mis agreements.
  8. Manage your stakeholders – Not all stakeholders may have the same enthusiasm as you do towards the partnership. To avoid having them as roadblocks, work it out to turn them into supporters.
  9. Periodically measure and evaluate – Following planning, it is vital to schedule times of evaluation and measuring progress. Like any plan execution, you would want to keep the course on track and make sure the partnership is heading towards success. If not, you are on time to pivot strategies.
  10. Communicate and avoid hidden agendas – big or small, positive or negative, matters should always be discussed between the two organizations instead of hiding. Hiding and lack of communication usually seeds mistrust.
  11. Discuss and agree on an exit plan – In reality, not everything may go as planned. It is best that both parties know about their right to untie themselves from the partnership. This is better discussed when the relationship is good and without bias compared to when situations are already critical.
  12. Launch with complete Stakeholders – Too often, alliances undergo hard times because of the roadblocks caused by absence of stakeholders. Keep a hold of the stakeholders during agreement and launch. This way they will understand and be on track.

Strategic alliances and partnerships are great way of growing a business in so many ways. These tips are important notes to take and helpful executable points that are worth taking to ensure success.

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