Partnerships often get overlooked as a staple for business growth and success. Business owners tend to focus on marketing, paid advertising and PR before dedicating time to build partnerships that could expand their network and drive growth. That’s not to say it will come quickly or easily. To develop a successful partnership, it takes a lot more than just a simple connection. It involves time, effort and creativity to build a relationship that lasts.
I’ve experienced this first hand when developing partnerships for Bond Collective. We work in an industry that has tons of stiff competition, so at times it was challenging to develop the appropriate assets and identify the right partners. Here I’ve created a short-list of tips & tricks for business owners, managers, and thought leaders on what I’ve learned along the way.
1. IT TAKES WORK- HARD WORK, FROM BOTH SIDES
While doing outreach to prospective partners, it’s important that you identify companies you want to work with and who match your ambition and organizational needs. You might find a company that has great ideas on the outset, but simply does not have the resources to work with you on a project or event. In that case, you may decide to move on to someone who truly has the bandwidth to execute and who may be more mutually beneficial.
2. WHEN IT COMES TO PARTNERSHIPS, YOU GET WHAT YOU PUT IN.
Both parties need to make a sincere effort, work together on building the relationship, track progress and brainstorm ways to make the partnership effective. After the fact, follow up and measurement are key. It’s important to know your wins and losses, and tailor the next campaign accordingly.
3. YOUR VISIONS FOR THE RELATIONSHIP ARE ALIGNED.
You have to ensure that you are both on the same page. This includes goal setting early on and a clear path to your desired deliverables, making sure you are both following it from start to finish.
4. YOU KNOW HOW TO ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES.
Did your activation get rained out? Did your partner pivot their business model? Understand that things happen and businesses often adapt and change. Just make sure that you are clear about these changes with each other. This brings me to my next point…
5. ESTABLISH CLEAR COMMUNICATION FROM THE GET-GO.
There should be one point of contact or a small team that you liaise with on a regular basis- that’s it. Share relevant updates and improvements. Send each other checklists of deliverables. Allow access to different channels of communication in case of an emergency. And don’t be afraid to be direct (just be kind!)
6. FINALLY, AS WITH ANY RELATIONSHIP, YOU NEED TRUST.
The definition of a partner is: a person who takes part in an undertaking with others, especially in a business or company with shared risks and profits. There can be a lot at stake when partnerships develop, but there is also a lot of upside. It’s imperative that you engage with a team that is trustworthy and that you both see a clear path to a successful future working together.
Have any questions about what Bond Collective can offer your company?
We’d be more than happy to answer them and to offer you a personalized tour of any of our locations in the Financial District, Flatiron and Brooklyn.