Business Partnerships/Strategic Alliances

Partnerships come in many different forms.  You need to consider which one best suits your business structure as you grow and keep the integrity of your business.

Internal Partnerships

If the foundation of your business is based on a partnership, it is important that you takePartnerships the time to plan the structure of your organization carefully in order to distinguish the roles and responsibilities of each partner. The legality and risks of the partnership should be discussed up front and a partnership agreement needs to be drawn up. This type of partnership is like a marriage and nothing should be left unsaid. Two great minds think alike but two creative minds think differently. Within an internal partnership, personality traits and skills need to be distinguished and discussed so that they can be utilized to strengthen the business. There should be regular discussions about the goals and the future of the business – communication is the key.

External Partnerships

External partnerships can help your business grow. These function as strategic alliances that you form with clients, suppliers, organizations, other businesses, subcontractors and business professionals. It takes time to form and nurture external partnerships.  In some instances a contract should be written up in order to keep both parties on the same page and the objectives clear. Communication, recognition and loyalty can help external partnerships to flourish.  Aligning yourself with other business in your community not only creates visibility for you but it also creates a stronger community.  You can work on cross promotions together, send referrals back and forth and exchange information and feedback.  

Both internal and external partnerships can present their own unique challenges. Plan carefully and make sure you align with a partner or partners that you can trust and rely on. Once a partnership is formed, ensure all the potential risks are discussed and resolved. When the proper steps are taken, a partnership can be an excellent way to expand your business.

The Halton Region Small Business Centre is here to help you. One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success.  For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at, by email at or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.


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