The future of business development and growth is in strategic partnerships and alliances. Collaboration is the operative word. No person is an island, so we have to build bridges across to another land mass. With active networking, we can build vital links to hearts and minds – if we are to promote and instill changes (for the better). Volunteers, retailers, customers, consultants, community members, family and friends – all these relationships involve partnering.
When I started my own small business 11 years ago, I realized early that I could not do it alone. I also learnt that my journey would be made more meaningful and worthwhile if I worked with others. I focused on work that would offer mutually beneficial outcomes. Business is about ‘busy-ness’ and the busier and involved you are, the better it would be in developing your value. When you engage with partners – and these can be short-term, project-based partnerships – you enhance your capability. Sharing is a value appreciated by many. Sharing involves the spirit of generosity.
How would you approach partnering in business?
1) Build rapport with people around you. Be liked.
2) Enhance existing relationships with others – keep building value with them.
3) Never burn bridges – you never know who may engage or employ you one day.
4) Do active networking – follow up with each contact, and create further connection.
5) Not every social occasion is a business occasion. You don’t have to bring a box of cards to dinner. Enjoy the company.
6) Seek partners with differing skills and expertise. Integrate diversity.
7) Complement your partner by bringing your expertise to the relationship.
8) As long as you don’t feel threatened by others, partner up.
9) There is perceived and potential value to larger, partnership-based, projects that you can do.
10) Sharing of resources and co-branding. Synergistic effects can lead to added value and reduced expenses.
In recent months, I have been involved and engaged in new partnerships. It has been enriching thus far, and I expect we would earn our cumulative value in terms of new experiences, relationships and potential. Give, and take in your partnerships. Have ‘clever-rate’ with you, when you collaborate.