3 Tips for Establishing Collaborations and Strategic Business Partnerships
Your Time Matters has enjoyed a number of key collaborations and strategic partnerships as our dynamic program of business networking events, strategic workshops, think tanks and business mentoring for business professionals has expanded since we were first established in 2010.
Our success is built on a belief that conversations, connections and strategic planning impact on your business success. Whether you lead a small business or a larger organisation, you will appreciate the importance of surrounding yourself with talented people. They say you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with and so it is essential that the business collaborations and strategic business partnerships you invest time and energy into deliver the results you desire.
Here are my 3 tips for establishing collaborations and strategic business partnerships.
1. Establish Mutual Understanding
It is essential when exploring a collaboration or strategic partnership that both parties develop a clear understanding of their goals, obligations and desired outcomes from the agreed program. Take the time to talk this through and do not be afraid to discuss potential scenarios that you may be concerned about, or that you would like to capitalise on as part of the collaboration.
2. Agree the Plan
The more specific you can be about what each party brings to the table and is required to do, the better. Map out a month by month plan. Agree a start date. Is there an end date? What are the agreed objectives and goals? How will you measure and track success? When will you meet to discuss the plan? Who is involved in implementing the plan?
3. Agree the Benefits
Collaborations and strategic partnerships work when there is a mutual benefit. The best strategic partnerships create a win, win, win where the client is receiving the advantage of working with or gaining access to two business types who are both meeting their needs. Collaboration is extremely powerful if done well. So take the time to really nut out what you want from the collaboration and be clear about what you are prepared to bring to the table.
- But where do you begin?
- How do you decide who to collaborate with?
- And where do you find potential strategic partners?
How to Establish Collaborations and Strategic Business Partnerships
Our event agenda for October is designed to help you answer these questions. On 17th October we are running a daytime event, “Collaborate and Connect”, an interactive event designed for a maximum of 12 people who want to bring a business problem to the table. On 31st October we have a guest speaker joining us to explore the good, the bad and the uncertain of strategic partnerships.
Collaborate & Connect is a unique event designed for a smaller group than our Networking with a Twist events. It is for professionals who want to bring a business problem to the table. Each participant will be given 5 minutes each and one person will be given a 10 minute hot seat to dive deeper into their business problem. This is a confidential and safe environment to share business issues with other like minded individuals and facilitated by an experienced Business Mentor.
We believe that a problem shared is a problem halved and it is our experience with 100s of Melbourne businesses, their owners and their leaders, that tells us that many of you may be experiencing similar problems or challenges. We also know that having the opportunity to talk through these problems, hear other’s perspectives and brainstorm ideas for how to tackle them will help you overcome these challenges.
Collaborations start with getting to know other business owners and leaders and determining if they are the right fit for potential opportunities to collaborate. Our "Collaborate and Connect" event will also provide you with the opportunity to practice talking more confidently about your business. We’ll do this with our popular conversation starters and networking cards. Professionals who attend our personalised event format say it feels more like a dinner party with new friends than other styles of events they have attended. You will walk away with potential solutions to one of your current business problems and perhaps even the possibility of a new collaboration.
Strategic Partnerships - The Good, The Bad & The Uncertain
Strategic partnerships tend to work when it involves two businesses who do not compete but serve the same target client; when the outcome is win, win, win for each party and the client and there is a strong level of know, like and trust between the parties. Success occurs when both parties have taken the time to really nut out if this is the right fit for them, their businesses and will achieve the outcomes they desire.
Christine Smith, from Recipe for Change, is one of Kerryn's network. She and Kerryn have often talked about Strategic Partnerships. When we think about the good, the bad and the uncertain, there are some key aspects that have become lessons learned from our own experiences as well as the experiences of clients we’ve coached and mentored.
If you are experiencing a strategic partnership that is uncertain, you’ll be unclear about your objectives, you may not be achieving the outcomes you want or there may be no plan and no clear understanding of each other’s role in the strategic partnership. To gain clarity on the strategic partnership so it does deliver the win, win, win you are all after, we recommend you take the time to re-set, agree a plan and work through your reciprocal rights and obligations. And if it feels like it is not the right fit, it may be time to walk away.
Unfortunately bad strategic partnerships are something you may have experienced. They can occur for a variety of reasons including one of the parties not following through, poor communication and lack of mutual commitment. It’s not a collaboration if only one person or party is winning.