A strategic partnership, whether it is a business partnership, a joint venture, or a short-term alliance, may create a win-win situation between what you want to gain and what you must offer. Steven Schussler said in his book “It’s a Jungle In There”, with a little creative thinking, you can come up with strategic partnerships to facilitate the creation of a product or service, enhance its quality, and improve your profit margin at the same time. With the proper planning and consideration, develop strategic business partnerships can be an unequivocal success. It is the simplest and least expensive co-owned business arrangement. Additionally, businesses with multiple owners are more likely to survive longer than sole proprietorship, says Economist Brian Headd of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
As an entrepreneur, you care about your business and can do anything necessary to make your business successful. Often people enter partnership for many reasons such as maybe they don’t feel they have enough value on their own; maybe, occasionally their business “hits a rocky patch” etc. You must reach out for help or find a right partner or whomever you can to solve the problem. As in the story between T-Rex chain of restaurants and Maxine Clark’s Build-A-Bear company, it’s simply because T-Rex company did not want to spend unnecessary time and money trying to prove they could do the same thing as Maxine Clark’s “Build-A-Bear” company does. Their partnership created the new “Build-A-Dino” product where two companies form a strategic partnership that voids duplication of effort, saves time, enhances marketing potential, and makes money for all concerns. It was an instant success.
Before entering a partnership, you would be well served to first determine whether you are cut out to be the “partner type” and if so, to thoroughly investigate prospective business partners as well. Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out if you are compatible and ready for the partnership option:
Am I the business partner type?
Why does this relationship benefit my professional and personal growth?
What do I expect to gain from this partnership?
Does my prospective business partner have a shared vision to make this relationship mutually beneficial?
Do we share the same excitement, and passion for what I do and how I want to grow?
Do we have mutual support and motivation?
Do we have a similar vision, ideas, and objectives to help business succeed?
Is each of our strong points and skills complementary to one another?
In my gut, do I trust this individual? etc.,
Partnership work does not mean losing control. However, there are pros and cons that you need to be aware of and do good research before considering enter business partnership. And don’t forget, take your time. It is recommended working with a skilled contract attorney to protect your business. Involve a lawyer and an accountant from the outset to help form your partnership and to draw up legal agreements.
Here is the author’s message to entrepreneur, “Lone wolves have their place in the entrepreneurial scheme of things, but, sometimes, given the choice, it’s better run with a professional, well-vetted pack than to go it alone.” And “Don’t be afraid to develop strategic partnerships.”
Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. New York: Union Square Press, 2010. Print