Savvy businesses use strategic relationships to grow. How can you apply these concepts to increase your own success?
There are many ways to use strategic relationships to start, grow, and expand businesses. The most well-known business leaders and brands of today all use them. Tesla, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Warren Buffett, and Tony Robbins, have all wielded strategic relationships to some extent to get and stay where they are. Here are some of the ways to implement these concepts for your own success.
Perhaps the most common and basic form of strategic relationship is forming a business partnership. This can be two or more individuals. Perhaps one of you has the tech skills and the other the connections. Or one has the capital and the other has the time and you form a JV. Even Berkshire Hathaway has begun engaging in corporate partnerships to acquire other companies. You can find partners at networking events, among family and friends, or via online platforms like CoFoundersLab.
You can also collaborate with others, without an official merger. Businesses can collaborate on creating events, marketing, and referring clients. This can help reduce risk and increase reach, with less upfront outlay. Some may even do this through affiliate marketing. One smart move here is to create an exclusive arrangement, at least for a period of time. Sometimes it is better to keep your options open. Though having a 6 month exclusive right to promote a product may give you a nice edge in the market.
Another way to use strategic relationships is to share resources. Examples of this may include several Realtors pooling together to get a new lead generation system or piece of software. Doctors and lawyers, and real estate and mortgage companies have often shared office spaces or buildings too. This can help attract more customers, while reducing overhead risk. Some may even share staff i.e. for maintenance, reception services and janitorial work.
Learn From Each Other
Successful people surround themselves with other successful people. Even just getting together regularly to brainstorm, share challenges and solutions, and strengthen relationships can have a lot of value.
Expand Your Services & Products
Strategic relationships can be used to promote additional services. For example; a real estate investment firm recommending the use of a self-directed IRA administrator. Or it could be adding wholesale properties to your inventory list. Or as an Airbnb host it could be providing gym passes to guests. Or maybe it is offering financing on your website. The more you can offer your clients the better, especially when it doesn’t cost you anything. You are giving more value, without crushing your profit margins.
The reserve of the above works too. Perhaps you can be the one supplying other businesses. Maybe you can supply a turnkey property provider with wholesale deals. Or can you get on the shelves of Walmart? Can you help Amazon broaden its offering by selling your product through its site?
Partner With Your Employees
Fast Company reports that some of the best strategic relationships may even come from partnering with your staff like Adidas has done. Solicit ideas from them, give them opportunities to open their own branches, run their own projects, or even branch out with a franchise. You might be surprised at what they accomplish, and it is certainly better to give up a piece of the pie than to lose great team members.
There are many ways to utilize strategic partnerships in business. All the greats do it. Explore the above options or brainstorm your own. How will you strategize your next stage of growth?