Cross-border and digital expansion followed by product diversification are the primary objectives of business over the coming quarter according to an analysis of nearly 10,000 firms across 145 countries on the Powerlinx platform.
The analysis examined the stated primary objective of customers and revealed that firms were clearly focused on expanding at the midway point of the year.
In particular, the analysis revealed:
- Nearly 40 percent of businesses were seeking to reach new geographical markets or expand their online presence rather than focus on customers in their existing market
- Around 12.5 percent of businesses were focused on finding partners who could help them diversify their product range and application
- Over 10 percent of businesses were actively seeking a partner to help them raise capital
- Around 3 percent of businesses were preparing to explore an exit and were in need of external parties to assist in that process
According to Powerlinx co-founder and CEO Doron Cohen the data reveals businesses are actively working to grow their business by forming strategic partnerships that move them out of their comfort zone and increase their opportunity for expansion.
“Businesses aren’t coming to the platform with only a request to find new customers,” said Mr Cohen.
“Instead they are recognizing that growth comes from setting objectives that are more tangible, and that in most instances they need an external party to help them meet their goals. As a result they are actively seeking out other businesses to help them grow.”
The demand for partners that can assist online expansion reflects the rapid growth of the online B2B market, which at $559 billion was estimated to be around twice the size of online B2C sales last year. Equally, the search for partners to support cross-border expansion reflects that opportunity remains offshore, particularly in developing economies, and that navigating those waters often requires on-the-ground support.
The Powerlinx analysis also reveals the way in which businesses are seeking to assist others in the network through a strategic partnership. In particular:
- 23 percent of businesses were interested in learning more about partnering with another firm looking to manage an exit
- 19 percent of businesses are interested in potentially offering solutions to another’s objective of diversifying their product line
- 18 percent of businesses are interested in potentially assisting with another’s capital raising
- 13 percent of businesses are interested in determining how they can assist another’s geographic expansion
“Every day businesses are realizing that they can be an important partner in another’s growth plans and the platform is facilitating those partnerships,” said Mr Cohen.
“Importantly, there is a growing awareness by business leaders that they can grow their firm by helping others meet their expansion targets. That is the ultimate power of strategic partnerships.”
The Powerlinx platform is being actively used by thousands of businesses to form strategic partnerships that can fast-track their growth plans. Most recently the platform helped an artisan milk producer in Brooklyn expand its geographic reach from seven stores in New York City to the entire Northeast Region by partnering with a new supplier that allowed them to extend the shelf life of their product. In another case a U.S. architectural firm was able to partner with a U.K. cleantech company to bring their unique technology to projects within wellness and recreation.