In a recent interview, Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser cited strategic partnerships as a major growth strategy. Today companies of all sizes are making alliances a centerpiece of corporate strategy, committing more resources and talent than ever before to developing and managing partnerships.
What Can Be Gained through Strategic Partnerships?
Strategic partnerships are agreements between two or more parties to pursue a set of defined objectives. They can take the form of a cooperation that lies between mergers and acquisitions activity and organic growth. Alliances allow members to pool resources while continuing to operate independently of each other. While together, partners experience greater benefits than they do on their own.
Strategic alliances allow partners to:
- Concentrate on their own competitive advantages
- Learn from partners and develop new competencies
- Reduce the risks associated with entering new markets
Strategic alliances also allow businesses to share resources like products, distribution channels, manufacturing capabilities, project funding, capital equipment, knowledge, expertise, and intellectual property.
What SMEs Can Gain from from a Strategic Partner
Some companies are committing more than 20 percent of their assets to developing and managing partnerships, according to Frost & Sullivan – an undertaking that’s nearly impossible for smaller businesses. Small-to-medium firms often feel at a disadvantage when it comes to seeking partners because they often lack the industry expertise, business networks, or management bandwidth needed to identify and cultivate the right alliances. This makes it all the more challenging for them to:
- Access new markets
- Expand product lines
- Expand geographically
- Grow their customer base
- Raise capital
While smaller or younger companies tend not to make gaining a strategic partner a priority, a little effort toward forming new relationships today can lead to incredible growth in the near future. According to the CMO council’s new initiative Grow from the Right Intro, a streamlined process can make it affordable to form synergistic alliances and eliminate the energy drain often associated with sourcing partners. Thankfully, new technologies are enabling businesses to find the right partners more easily and with less cost.
It’s no secret that finding the right strategic partner can fuel your bottom line, make your business more efficient, reduce overhead, and broaden your customer base. If you source your partner correctly, your next alliance can drive amazing growth for your company.
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