5 steps to get better strategic partners

“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Winston Churchill

Strategic partnerships have been an integral part of all the business ventures I have been, and am part of. They can be made with suppliers, customers or distribution networks. What is essential when selecting them is to ensure that you put effort into the evaluation and selection process. Partnerships are very easy to get into but very sticky to get out of. The following 5 steps will allow you to minimize the number of unsuccessful partnerships considerably;

1. Value Creation: All partnerships begin with the premise that together they can create greater value for their clients, partners or suppliers. The impact of the value has a magnified effect which makes the companies involved stronger and more competitive in todays cut throat market place. To learn more about how to identify ways in value creation please click here.

2. Common Vision: Identifying a common vision requires you to answer three questions, “Why are we wanting to embark on this partnership?”, “What do we hope to achieve through the partnership?” and “What changes need to be made to the current business models to execute this venture?” Once you have got detailed answers to these question you can construct a concise and specific vision statement. To learn the answers to these questions please click here.

3. Common Trust: To grow, any partnership requires you to establish a strong level of trust between those involved. This requires you to be honest, open and reliable when dealing with your partners. Trust needs to be earned and once you have, it can be leveraged to become a very strong competitive advantage. To learn more please click here.

4. Common Value Systems: These are integral in creating long term partnerships. They provide a common thread which both sides can relate to and work towards. Finding out about a partners value system requires you to dedicate time and resources towards researching it diligently , this effort is worth every cent. To learn more about value systems please click here.

5. Clear Contracts: Contracts are a critical component in any business deal. It is the document which binds two or more parties to an agreement they have reached. these contracts have to be written clearly, concisely and in an unambiguous manner. To learn more about writing effective contracts please click here.

True partnership is a two sided relationship where both companies strive to create value rather than making a quick buck. It is a strategy which has a long term impact on the bottom line rather than a quick fix. To make them work requires hard work and a mind set which is very different from the traditional “what can I get out of this partnership?” view. Choose your partners carefully and build visions together on how you are going to help each other reach your goals.

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