If you’re thinking a partnership is a business with one or more equity owners, you’re absolutely correct. But the terms partner and partnership have a much broader meaning in usage. Read or listen to the business news and you’ll hear lots about business partnerships. Businesses large and small are growing through partnerships.
Dallas Business Journal reports, “American Airlines has forged a three-year marketing partnership with National Football League’s New England Patriots.”
Reuters states, “Jamie Kennedy partners with Yoostar ™ to create original viral content and launch the Yoostar Comedy Channel”
Wall Street Journal announces, “Google and SpotMixer expand partnership to include In-Stream video advertising.
These partnerships have a specific purpose and goals, as should all partnerships.
What’s great about these types of partnerships is they can be consummated under a variety of terms and options. To learn more about the partnership options review my webinar, “How to Grow Your Business Using Partnerships”.
By using the broad partnership model you can:
-Expand your market
-Create new or improved products
-Gain new resources.
For the small business some of the real advantages of the partnership model are you don’t have to:
-Commit additional resources
-Spend time learning or providing what someone else can do faster, cheaper and better
-Reinvent what someone else has already built.
What’s common to all partnerships is the potential for mutual benefit. One party may gain more than the other, but that’s OK as long as it’s understood and agreed. And each must realize their expected benefit or the partnership will not be successful. Typically the specific gain for each partner will be different based on the role they play.
For a business partnership to be successful all terms must be clarified, documented and agreed to by the parties. Verbal agreements are a great place to start, but if they’re not documented in the beginning, you’re setting yourself up for future problems. Your partnership agreement can be changed, of course, but until it is, the partnership agreement is the document by which you are bound.
To get started using partnerships, determine what you want to accomplish in your business. What do you need in order to accomplish it? Who can provide what you need? Your specialty and expertise will likely fill the need of someone else’s business objectives. What can you provide in return? You’re looking for the right fit.
To find potential partners, think about who within your existing network might have what you need or to whom you might be able to offer your “value”. Seek opportunities to help others. Let your needs and interests be known. Use the internet and its capabilities to get the word out that you are seeking a “partner” for a specific purpose and goal.