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By Brenda Thomson
Strategic Alliances: Put really simply two or more business owners working together to help one another – think Coles and Shell and those discount checkout slips that encourage you to drive to a Shell Service station to fill up the family car.
They are NOT just the domain of big business, strategic alliances, joint ventures and partnerships (call them what you will) are the most powerful business development strategy available to small business owners…. but without some simple guidelines things can go horribly wrong.
Before implementing any strategic alliance, joint venture or partnership make sure you work through this checklist so you get your new relationship off to the best possible start.
- Am I comfortable working with this person?
- Do we share the same values and ethics?
- Will the relationship reflect positively on my brand?
- Have I done everything possible to ensure that a relationship with my business will reflect positively on the other party?
- Do I have sound business reason for proceeding? What do I want to achieve?
- Is the timing right for me to proceed right now?
- Does the other person (s) have sound business reasons for proceeding? What do they want to achieve?
- Have we brainstormed potential ways that we could work together?
- Have we selected a specific strategy that has a realistic probability of achieving BOTH our business objectives?
- Have we selected a strategy that is within the capacity of both of us to implement? (Consider money, time and skills.)
- Have we selected a strategy that is appropriate for the maturity of our relationship? (Use lower risk strategies earlier in a relationship. )
- Have we agreed on how we will measure the effectiveness of the strategy?
- Do we have agreed and realistic timelines surrounding the strategy?
- Have we agreed on an implementation process – who will do what, and by when?
- Do we have an agreed exit strategy in place?
- Are both parties genuinely comfortable with all aspects of the alliance strategy? (Open and honest communication is essential.)
- Have we created a Strategic Alliance Agreement so that all aspects of the alliance are clearly understood and agreed by both/all parties?
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)
Is your business strategic partnership ready?
Seven steps to identifying the perfect strategic partners for your business
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.