Partnerships, alliances, and collaboration are a vital tool for any business. In an increasingly complex environment we can often find ourselves one minute competing and the next collaborating with others. I think there are lots of ways we can view collaboration and there are lots of permutations on how they can work – here are some ideas to think about:
1. If you are a start-up – you will obviously be viewed in this way – how can you team up with larger partners to help you punch above your weight?
2. As growing business could you find business partners that provide a route to market but there is a reciprocal benefit – e.g recruitment company teaming up with an accountancy practice
3. Developing new products – working with a university to bring credibility and new expertise
4. Could your business align with a leading expert or brand personality to enhance the credibility or endorse your offer
5. Could you create alliances or partnerships with businesses that offer complimentary services/products – ones that you know could be channelled through to your customer e.g Costa Coffee franchises in Waterstones
In an age where competitive advantage is crucial and differentiation is vital – I think we should all think about how partnerships can help benefit all parties. The operative word here is all – partnership must be win-win and this is the mindset we must embrace. If not partnership can become quickly partnerSHAFT