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Is your business strategic partnership ready?
By Brenda Thomson
Strategic alliances are the most powerful and cost effective way for small businesses to get more leads. More customers and more raving fans, but if you don’t have some key basics in place they can also be a recipe for disaster….
Put really simply, there are four basic steps that EVERY business needs to take to become strategic alliance ready.
With those steps completed you will be able to not only spot the right alliance opportunities, and take full advantage of them when they come along, better yet you will be able to actively seek out the right alliances that will enable you to take your business where you want it to go.
And yes even if you are the owner of a brand new baby business you can still make your business strategic alliance ready.
But without having these three basic steps completed then effective strategic alliances are likely to be more a matter of good luck than good management and you run a very real risk of not even being in business in the long term.
So what are these four basic steps?
- Start with the end in mind. It is like everything else in life – you have to know what it is you want to achieve – where you are going? What is your vision for your business?
- You need to have a clear understanding of your current situation. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What external factors can you identify that will assist, or hinder, you achieving your objectives.
- Identify the things that need to happen, the things you can do, to enable you to move your business from Number 2 to Number 1.
- Implement- review -revise- repeat!
Once you have completed those basic steps you are in a position to identify and connect with the alliances, partners, joint ventures, supporters, friends and colleagues who can help you to achieve your goals more quickly, more easily, more efficiently, more economically, with less stress.
Yes some of you will have spotted it, we are going to be creating a strategic plan, (and if you understand strategic planning you will appreciate its importance if you are going to be creating strategic alliances)
So if you have been meaning to start a strategic planning process for ages, now is your chance, if the closest you have ever come to a plan is the business plan in your bottom drawer you created it for the bank manager when you first started in business, that is going to change now too.
But don’t run away in fright, if you thought strategic planning was only for large corporations or you think you don’t have time for planning and you really don’t want to do a strategic plan.
Put really simply a strategic plan is a road map for a business of where they are, where they want to go and the actions required to get there.
So no matter which of those groups you fit into, strategic planning is something you should be doing on a regular basis (we recommend at the very least every three months).
If you don’t do it you may be dooming your business to failure but it you do it regularly then not only does it stop being a big job and become a manageable part of your everyday operations, it also ensures that you are continuously checking your progress towards your business objectives.
So before you start, make a commitment to your business success to set time aside to review and update your strategic plan regularly. We strongly recommend that you repeat this process every three months. And if you are one of those smart business owners who has a strategic plan which you update regularly and which genuinely drives your business activity on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?
You are going to be happy because this is something you do on an ongoing basis anyway – so Congratulations! Now get started and get your business Strategic Alliance Ready…
More articles about Strategic Partnerships and JVs
Four steps to an effective strategic partnership plan
The 10 things you absolutely MUST know about creating strategic partnerships and joint ventures (JVs)
Seven steps to identifying the perfect strategic partners for your business
Strategic Partnership and JV Checklist
101 JV ideas
CEO and Founder, Synergy48 Group
Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and she is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor. She is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business.
Brenda has over 20 years of experience training in communication, team work, time management, productivity, organisation and strategic planning in large organisations. She is also the developer of the Business Benchmarking Toolkit used by Synergy48 Group members and clients to identify areas for improvement in their business processes.
Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic partnerships and networking with a difference. She is passionate about actively giving back to the community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every Synergy48 Group membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own businesses, Brenda has climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.