More importantly too many businesses do not identify the types of clients they want to attract in any new venture before they start to establish a new relationship. Is it any wonder then that people complain of the wrong type of client or a lack of available opportunities.
Without a plan any conflicts and possible communication misunderstandings within and between the two businesses can lead to wasted time and resources, lost productivity, and more importantly missed opportunities.
2. Share your vision with every alliance
Every alliance should have equal partners. Each company has its own objectives goals and vision. To be successful any alliance has to be collaborative with both parties sharing what they want from this relationship.
Each partner should not be afraid to disclose ‘what‘s in it for me’. Once it is out in the open, it is easier to decide is this an alliance you want to pursue. Put simply, both parties need to agree what good looks like and establish success criteria to monitor on a regular basis.
3. Make sure you identify the opportunities available
Why not consider a joint planning session with any new alliance to map out what success looks like and how this can be achieved for all parties? You can identify the opportunities for clients, the referral process and how new clients can benefit from this new alliance.
4. Keep talking – communication is key
As the alliance progresses, you can get a situation where it evolves and runs the risk of taking on a life of its own and moves away from its original objectives. Communication is vital and one way to ensure this happens is to establish regular meetings and milestones to evaluate your efforts and to ensure that your original joint plan is on track.
At these meetings, both business owners need to review the results to date and compare them to any success criteria they established during strategic thinking and planning. Keep focused on the intent of the alliance, but be prepared to modify your agreement and processes if necessary.
How to make contact
If you have not already done this, allocate time to put thought into defining your business proposition as you need to clear about what you can offer a potential alliance.
One thing to consider are your strengths in terms of knowledge? Many business people specialise in their area of expertise and seek alliances to shore up gaps and work with others who are experts in their field.
How can you demonstrate you are such an expert? It is also important to research the firms you are looking at – what do they specialise in, and how will your offering fit. This will ensure you are compatible.