Follow these 5 steps to make your decision easier
Business Owners: How to prepare for a partnership
Thinking of adding a business partner to expand your small business?
What steps will you take to make this important decision?
Strong research skills are vital to getting the results you want:
1) a partner that helps you grow your business and
2) a partner that matches your small business’ & customers’ needs
5 Research Steps for a Successful Partnership:
Step 1 Do your due diligence
Investigate the potential partner thoroughly before creating a partnership agreement
- What is their brand? What do they stand for? See my post on Brand Strategy for easy to follow fill in the blank sections.
- Who are their target markets? Competitors? Suppliers? See my post on target marketing for more detail.
- What are the parameters of their business: products, geographic, online/offline?
- What are their financials: check general public knowledge before you request company access?
- Where is their marketing strategy? Traditional, Trade, Direct Marketing, Social Media, Public Relations
- Complete a full SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
Step 2 Your turn
Answer the above questions about your own business as if you were an outsider
Step 3 Compare Step 1 & 2
Create a side by side chart for each area. Use a large white board or multiple poster boards or if you prefer project management software or Excel spreadsheets.
- Where are the inconsistencies or differences?
- Is the potential partner filling gaps in your portfolio or markets or adding more?
- Are the differences deal breakers or a solution waiting to happen?
Step 4 Think beyond the initial partnership
Consider how your business will grow
- Where will the partnership be in a year? 3 years? 5 years?
- What terms must be included to mitigate risk for both parties?
- How will the partnership impact the overall market for your business?
- What changes are you willing to make to make the partnership work?
- Financials, financials, financials….
Step 5 Gut check
How do you feel about this partnership?
- Is it right for your business?
- Is the timing right for your business?
Protect the business you created.
Take time to do thorough research before jumping into a new partnership.
Start your research and get excited about the opportunities to grow your business.