Positive partnerships drive businesses forward.
Taking the right steps to establish a new relationship with clear guidelines and expressing how each party will benefit from it at the beginning is crucial to maintaining partnerships alive. It’s cross-industry and an amazing tool to grow clients, opportunities, and mutually beneficial business! On January 30th, we discussed the world of collaboration. We welcomed a panel filled with companies across multiple industries ranging from PR (Miami Crowd), creative consulting (Verjano Communications), experiential marketing (Prism Creative Group), & ed-tech (4Geeks Academy) about their experience with partnerships and the results. The stories ranged from fantastic to horrendous when speaking about the actual execution of a 1st project together with a new partner. The biggest concern of it all was the actual process of setting up that relationship. How do we make sure to leverage the resources of two organizations in perfect sync? What does this look like? They touched upon many points and here are a few that stuck out as most important and thought we’d share these with you all.
Communication is KEY
There is no set process to establish a new relationship. It will always remain a case-by-case basis. Where this all sort of clashes into once common practice, is in the aspect of communication. The preamble to reaching out to an organization for potential collaboration is to have a clear idea as to what you’ll be proposing and what the benefit will be for the OTHER party. There are obvious benefits for yourself, but that is not what you lead with. Once you’ve reached out and the other party is ready for an open discussion based on your provided guidance for the partnership, it’s time to fine-tune it with their ideas. Nancy Kurspahic from Miami Crowd explained this a bit at this stage, “Having deliverables that you both will fulfill whether financial or milestone-wise can help. Saying you owe me ‘X’ and I owe you ‘X’ can work, but sometimes having something on paper of what the partnership will fulfill is important.” Nothing wrong with some formality here, it’s for everyone’s benefit.
Remaining True to yourself
Partnerships you form should be complimentary, and its success could be measured by how symbiotic both parties become. Make sure to work with people that are aligned your vision & what you do. David Verjano from Verjano Communications spoke to that. “You have to be able to evaluate if you are the right fit for the other party. They might think you are, based on the idea they have of you [their perception of you]…” Being honest about this from the beginning is going to prove the partnership to be productive or save both of you lots of time by avoiding it if that fit isn’t there.
Competition VS Collaboration
Let’s face it. Your business has competition and you’re both after the same customer. There will be an instance in which you might need to create opportunities in the market by partnering up with a competitor. It’s a tough thing to do and egos need to be thrown to the side to make it work. Here’s where that 1st point is paramount throughout the engagement between both of you. Goals, benefits, and outcomes need to be lined up and agreed upon. Once you cross the point of agreement, what’s on the other side could be a fantastic new revenue stream. Pola Bunster from The Prism Group stated that “It’s almost impossible to become successful without creating partnerships and collaborating with other people.”
Missed it? Here’s the live stream of the entire event
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