Week 5 Blog: Ch. 14 Don’t Be Afraid to Develop Strategic Partnerships
In the book “It’s a Jungle in There”, Schussler explains different situations where his business benefited from strategic partnerships. These partnerships included sponsorships from well-known companies such as Budweiser and RC Cola. Partnering with such huge well-known companies can benefit both parties. It benefits the large company by being able to advertise in a unique way, and it benefits the entrepreneur by not having to pay for whatever the sponsor is paying. In the case that Schussler provides it was a giant mural that was sponsored by Budweiser and RC Cola. These murals were so eye-catching they brought in customers from all over, while also advertising for Budweiser and RC Cola.
Another example that Schussler gave was partnering with Build-A-Bear in order to create a similar thing but with dinosaurs called Build-A-Dino. In this situation the idea is not to reinvent the whole idea, but to partner with the well-established company with your idea to expand on their already existing business. This would obviously include giving them a portion of the profits, but that could still be saving you money from not having to recreate the same thing from scratch. Most of the time companies know the importance of partnering and how it can improve and expand their business as well as yours. It is a great win-win situation, to help you get off the ground and to help them grow.
Entrepreneurs are usually known as a “lone wolf”, someone who goes it alone. But everyone needs help sometimes, and you will never get it if you don’t ask. Even though I think it is hard for entrepreneurs to seek out help and partnerships sometimes, it seems most beneficial for the ones that do. Such as with investors, it is difficult to ask for support in this way, for others to risk their money for your business. But sometimes this is required to even get a business to be able to open doors, and it may lead to a good investment for those investors.
In the article How to Create Strategic Partnerships That Are a Win-Win, Mckay gives seven tips on how to develop strategic partnerships.
- See beyond what’s on the table. All parties will benefit from the relationship, it’s always better to seem to come from a place of abundance.
- Be Clear on your why. Why are you interested in a partnership? And what can you bring to the table to make the relationship mutually beneficial.
- Understand the why of your potential partners. Ask the same questions of your potential partner, what do they have to offer to you?
- Seek commonality and a shared vision. “The best partnerships work because the vison and values are shared as well as passion and enthusiasm.”
- Don’t rush the process. Be aware of red flags, and make sure both parties are committed before moving forward.
- Expect to be uncomfortable. Be prepared to negotiate and be clear and firm about what you want, while expecting a win-win situation.
- Write things down. Make sure all agreements are in writing to protect each party’s interests.
Schussler, Steven and Karlins, Marvin. It’s A Jungle in There. New York: Sterling, 2010. Print.
Mckay, Kate. 2014, June 3. How to Create Strategic Partnerships That Are a Win-Win. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234425.