Being smart, effective and efficient is vital to being a successful entrepreneur. It's not necessarily doing all of the work yourself but it could be meeting and collaborating with strategic business partners. The partners often are looking for, meeting or collaborating with similar prospects. It could be the real estate agent that connects with the loan officer or the CPA that connects with a banker. Regardless, gaining and cultivating those relationships is the key to working smart not just hard.
#1 – Work Out Discount Deals
Strategic partnerships are so important in business. Especially if you are going solo. As a hairstyling and hair cutting company, it only makes perfect sense to partner with a natural hair care line. Natural hair care is booming right now. And if we can carry another entrepreneur and small business owners products, we will. We work out deals where the hair care product gives us a discount for our stylists to carry, use and recommend their products to all our clients for an entire month. After all, a rising tide raises all boats.
Thanks to Samson Adepoju, SalonYourWay!
#2 – Helps Us Both Grow
At EBI Management Group, we are firm believers in the power of partnerships! We have partnered successfully with other Veteran-owned Small Business Owners that have related technology businesses, but do not compete directly with us. Hixardt Technologies is a Managed Service Provider with a Data Center in Pensacola, so when we hear of a client need in that area, we send them over to Mike Hicks at Hixardt. Likewise, Mike sends clients to EBI that require technology consulting services for Oracle, SAP, or other Enterprise software implementation, integration, or modernization work. This relationship helps us both grow, helps create additional technology jobs in Pensacola, and helps strengthen the economy here in Pensacola, Florida.
Thanks to Travis Goins, EBI Management Group, Inc.!
#3 – Invest in our Partnership
We partner with all our vendors and our customers. Our greatest strategic partner, however, is Microsoft. Of course, you say, eMazzanti is a ‘Microsoft Partner'. The difference is that we invest in the partnership more than other partners do by helping Microsoft people get what they need. eMazzanti's customers have been featured in more than 60 Microsoft videos and case studies. We also test all their early releases and are the first to upgrade our customers. We serve on committees and speak at events. In return we get a load of publicity and access to high-level Microsoft resources that help us solve customer problems and market more effectively.
Thanks to Carl Mazzanti, eMazzanti Technologies!
#4 – Co-Creation Business Model
We partner with founders and corporations to launch innovative startups. Basically, we build baby businesses. Very few people know about the co-creation business model for startups. In this scenario, one company partners with another to create a new startup. Investment is performed through equity shares. Both parties share the risk. Collectively, the partnership identify ideas, build a prototype then validate it to ensure product market fit all within a finite timeline. Startup studios help founders build fast, test fast, and exit fast if the idea isn’t supported.
Thanks to Angela Zade, Evus Technologies!
#5 – Best Use of My Time
As the leader of my company, the highest and best use of my time is forging strategic partnerships. I only partner with the best in class organizations, selecting those with high specialized expertise and sophisticated processes. A few include, a partnership with a caterer to perform all of the food service at Planterra's event venue. We also have partnered with specialist in other geographic locations to complete installations for Planterra's interior landscape business.
Thanks to Shane Pliska, PLANTERRA!
#6 – Win-Win
One of our biggest strategic partners is Guidant Financial, a company that helps entrepreneurs to obtain financing for their business. Our company assists entrepreneurs with incorporating or forming LLCs and many of Guidant's customers need help forming a Corporation or LLC required for financing. We help their customers file the necessary forms with the state offices and work with Guidant and their clients extensively. It's a great partnership win-win for the both of us.
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com!
#7 – Sharing our Digital Content
Our small company has networked with a number of related groups through sharing our digital content. Our partners include real estate and property investment companies that need fresh content for their audience. By sharing our content – or even providing them with completely unique content – we're keeping their readers fed while raising awareness of our own niche services. None of our current partners do exactly what we do; so, we have minimal risk of them replacing us by publishing our content for their audience. Advantages that go beyond the increased digital footprint include: staying relevant in our market, sharing real solutions to investment property problems; and, pushing ourselves a little harder to deliver the very best content. This strategy is a lot of fun to apply personally, too, although the target is ‘partners' who are different, not similar. I've done this through establishing a presence on multiple social media platforms and intentionally sharing my posts with diverse groups, groups where I might have been on the fringe. These dissimilar ‘partners' embrace me and share their valuable ideas, which really expands my world views, my creativity and my capacity for staying ahead of disruption that could render me irrelevant.
Thanks to Elizabeth Gibson, EZ Landlord Forms, LLC!
#8 – Vetted Vendors
As a branding and marketing agency owner, my clients rely upon me to help them find vetted vendors they can trust. Over the years, I have built up a roster of printers, illustrators, photographer, copywriters, and media buyers that specialize in their craft and are niche-oriented in terms of the industries they serve. By cultivating and managing these strategic partner relationships over the years, I have been able to transfer my brand's trust to increase their brand value and provide my customers a value-added service. In turn, I become the “go-to” resource for any and all business needs and maintain “top of mind” status with my customers. It’s a win-win.
Thanks to Angela Hill, INCITRIO!
#9 – Essential to My Business
I am a business law attorney and business strategist. Being a part of strategic alliances and collaborating with other business owners is essential to my business. One of my strongest strategic partners is a marketing strategist. Because, my area of expertise is not marketing I work with a specialist in the area to refer my clients so that we can develop a strategy that is in line with the client's overall business strategy. Likewise, my strategic partner, work with me because she does not have the legal and business management background that provides a necessary foundation for any small business. This strategic partner works well because we service similar clients but do not offer the same services. This partnership benefits both of our clients and allows us to offer complete services.
Thanks to Shahara Wright, CEO Effect, LLC!
#10 – Looking for Alliances
Any entrepreneur who doesn’t believe that building/growing their business is about constant promotion, networking and forming alliances are best served to rethink their success/growth strategy. For my business – retail and the segment I serve; growth has come even faster through alliances formed with hairdressers, fashion and bridal boutiques. All these alliances have worked both ways to grow each of our business as we may not have met each others’ clientele. I strongly suggest to any entrepreneur looking to grow and become successful in business to look at how alliances can be formed to benefit each others’ business.
Thanks to Dionne Morrison, Baba's Lingerie!
#11 – Easiest & Efficient Way to Amp Up Your Business
Strategic partnerships are one of the easiest ways to massively amp up a particular area of your business in a most efficient manner. Particular area because like anything else, fragmenting your focus dilutes your results and maximizing synergistic opportunities is no different. Successful infomarketers and bloggers know that these kinds of relationships aren't just beneficial, they're crucial. Somehow, the rest of us have been a little slower to regularly adopt the concept, which is really all about leverage, perfectly summarized by James Keller's quote: A candle loses nothing by lighting the flame of another. For a little over a year, we have been doing styled photoshoots for our company, The Party Goddess!, an LA based, celebrity-client heavy event planning company. Then we took it to a new level: Because Marley, the big boss at TPG! hated Mondays, she came up with the idea of hosting Mixology Monday where she invited a very popular local bartender to come up with fabulous combinations for a select few of her equally Monday-challenged friends. So when Super Bowl Sunday came along and everyone had plans to watch the game, Marley came up with a version of Mixology Monday and dubbed it Mixology Sunday: A pre-pre Super Bowl party and included the same popular drink whiz as well as a swank photographer whose work she fancied. The attendance and preliminary results were magic. Not only did Marley get fun fresh shots to put her ahead of the trends, populate her blog, website and Instagram pages, the photographer and bartender got the same, all three of them enjoying the magic of losing nothing by sharing just one match.
Thanks to Marley Majcher, The Party Goddess!