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Strategic Alliances

August 21, 2008
Strategic Alliances..what does that phrase mean to you? The word alliance has many synonyms including connection, association, partnership, and cooperation. As entrepreneurs we need alliances in order to further our businesses. Alliances can be formed with non-competitive companies in our industry, with other entrepreneurs, with our vendors, and even with our competitors. 
Have you developed strategic partners or alliances since running your business? Have you thought about companies within your industry you’d like to partner with? Do you have relationships with competitors in your field you can work with? Here are a few ways alliances can enrich your business.
Alliances Can Help Increase Sales: If you form alliances with non-competitive companies within your industry, you have a chance to create a great referral system for your business. Identify companies you’ve been doing business with for awhile, and set a time to meet with them to discuss how you both can benefit from your established, long term relationship.  Can you become a preferred vendor of theirs? Can they become a preferred vendor of yours? Can you cross promote each other on your promotional materials, on websites, and at industry trade shows?  Consider all the possibilities.
Alliances Must Be Mutual: If you form an alliance with another company, discuss and be clear about what you both want out of the alliance. It could be cross promotion, referrals, or leads. It could be advice, sharing, education, or friendship. Make sure you understand why you are forming an alliance and how it can benefit both of you at the same time. Make sure to create a reciprocal type of relationship.
Alliances Can Be Formed With Competitors: Most businesses don’t consider alliances with their competitors. But once you’ve been in business for awhile, you realize your company can’t meet all market demands. Companies have different strengthens, services, and products. Research your competitors and figure out who has the same ethics, reputation, and philosophy as you and who offers a different or specialized service then you, and meet with them to see if you can form an alliance and become referrals for each other.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2008 4:33 pm

    Strategic Alliance is something that isn’t really thought of when starting a business. However,it should never be far from your mind.
    I think that if you are actively looking for an alliance, it may be too late. You don’t want to make decisions on an immediate or emergent need. Those alliances may not be well thought out.
    Surround yourself with people that you feel comfortable with and your circle will grow and alliances may naturally form.


  2. August 22, 2008 5:26 pm

    Alliances can really help promote your business. As a part-time web designer, I recently met a talented graphic designer and it turned out to be a perfect match.


  3. August 25, 2008 11:29 am

    At Women TIES I am constantly suggesting developing strategic alliances to our members. The connection has to be beneficial for both parties to be successful. In most cases, good, solid business alliances can truly help both companies bottom line. Thanks for the comments Brenda and Holly.


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