The Power of Business Partnering

Regardless of the size of your business or the industry you operate in, aligning your business with complimentary organizations that can help you expand your reach and even your set of offerings can be a highly effective way to succeed, especially if you are a small business with limited resources.

Business partners can serve a multitude of purposes in the course of a mutually beneficial relationship. Here are several examples:

1. Help you expand and round out your set of offerings – if you’re a law firm and want to also offer a lower-end “product”, you can align yourself with a pre-paid legal services firm, for example
2. Expand your reach and penetration into new customer segments and markets – if you have a small firm operating in the U.S. and can find a viable, complementary partner in the U.K., for example, you can tap international market segments without having to physically expand into the region.

3. Make your operation appear larger than it actually is – if you have a sales force of just three people and decide to partner with an organization that offers a corresponding product, you can leverage their sales force as well as yours to sell both business’s products and services
4. Grant you access to higher-level individuals within the companies you are targeting – If you can’t reach vice president level executives in your target organizations, a partner that already has existing relationships with these individuals can possibly afford you the opportunity to get some face time with these high-level professionals
5. Increase your organization’s marketing power – if your business has limited promotional resources but can align itself with a partner that doesn’t, you can leverage their breadth to also gain heightened visibility

In life we sometimes find it better to borrow someone else’s stuff rather than buying our own. This same principle applies in business with regard to successful partnerships. You could expend tremendous resources to acquire the additional resources you need to grow your business or like the aforementioned stuff, you can find someone else who has what you need and “borrow” it. Unlike a drill or a lawn mower, however, the business scenario typically requires a mutually beneficial value proposition. No company will let you borrow its resources if you aren’t bringing something to the table that they can benefit from as well.

In the end, effective partnerships or alliances with like businesses can help you scale your business quicker and more easily than going it alone. Give them a try. I have, and it’s working wonderfully!