Finding Business Partners: A Strategic Investment

Finding business partners traditionally has been a challenging experience. Aligning yourself strategically with the right business partner can revolutionize your organization’s offering. From leveraging knowledge sharing and resources, to expanding into new areas and product segments, finding business partners can deliver significant short and long-term value to your organization. At the same time, you can leverage your partner’s brand and assets, learn from their big data insights and support each other for sustainable growth. There are many strategic partnership benefits which we will review in this post.

By finding strong business partners, you invest in joint value

Ben Gomes-Casseres, author of The Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations and professor at the Brandeis International Business School, says it is worth investing in the perfect partnership because they enable you to create “joint value.”

“You can leverage the added revenues, profits and other kinds of benefits that would not exist if you tried to run the business without partners,” he says.

Gomes-Casseres has researched alliance strategy and management for 30 years and consulted with major companies worldwide. He stresses that to get a return from the joint value created, you need to realize you are not simply investing alone, but truly investing in the partnership and sharing costs and risks with that partner.

“A good partnership will follow three fundamental laws,” he says. “First, you have to identify what can be done jointly to create the added value. Second, you have to design and manage the partnership professionally. And third, you and your partner need to agree on how to share the benefits from cooperation.”

Short- and long-term benefits of collaboration

When it comes to short-term strategic partnership benefits to a business, Gomes-Casseres highlights they can vary from added sales to cash savings from sharing costs.

“What you get depends on the business model and how the partnership is set up,” he says. “Most good partnerships have some quick wins up front, followed by longer-term benefits.”

Over time, he claims the benefits of finding business partners can be invaluable to driving the business forward in both strength and scale, while at the same time leveraging the partnership to give you a strategic competitive advantage.

“In the longer run, a good partnership can give you a stronger competitive position by increasing your market share, improving the design and quality of your products and services, and helping you deliver better service to the customer. As a result, your business can grow in size and strength.”

Selecting the right partner is critical

Gomes-Casseres explains that the success of any alliance starts with the right fit between the partners. “You need to select a partner that complements your resources, and with who you can work productively.”

This means more than going with your gut, or with the “chemistry” you have with a partner. You need to evaluate the pros and cons of each partner carefully.

Plus, it helps tremendously to start with a wide and deep search to find business partners. This is where today’s big data can help a lot – you need to scour the landscape and not just settle for the first partner to walk through the door.

Leverage strength and knowledge when finding business partners

Investing in the right business partnership alliance can also enable both parties to benefit from each other’s shared strengths and knowledge. By collaborating effectively, the partnership can offer powerful opportunities to expand into new areas or product segments. As  you now begin to see, finding business partners to expand your companies growth is vital to your long-term success.

“The best partnerships rely on the strengths of each partner – you leverage the skills, talents and experience of your partner, and they do the same for you,” Gomes-Casseres says. “As a result, the combination is stronger than either party alone. However, to gain these benefits, you do have to manage the collaboration with mutual respect.”

Gain deeper insights into big data

With the proliferation of big data in today’s fast-evolving, competitive digital business landscape, an effective strategic partnership alliance can be critical to enable businesses to gain deeper insights from their data and aid sustainable growth moving forward.

“A series of alliances may give you access to customer segments that you could not reach on your own, or enable you to enter new geographic markets,” Gomes-Casseres says. “As you do this, you will learn more about these segments and markets, and can use the data to broaden your expertise and product offerings.”