How Important Are Strategic Alliances?

handshake-30395601Strategic alliances are also known as partnerships.  When you form an alliance with another business it can be a verbal or written agreement.  What the agreement entails is usually the exchange of information about the other business and they do the same for you.  What you really are creating for both businesses is duel visibility.  The whole purpose of the alliance is to create opportunities that can increase and grow your business.  It is important to take your time when forming alliances because you are hopefully forming a long term relationship that is based on respect and trust.  When you are looking for an alliance it is important for you to find a business or organization that has common goals similar to yours.  A strategic alliance should never be taken lightly or for granted.

One of the advantages to an alliance is that it is very cost effective way to market and promote the business.  It can also help you become more competitive in the market place.  It also brings like-minded organizations together to great more opportunities within a community.

When you pick a business that is complementary to yours you can both share in the advantages.  The examples we use in our business plan template are a flower shop aligning with a jewelry shop, or a plumber aligning with an electrician.  You can also pick a business that has a different product or services but the same target market.

How long should the agreement last? Hopefully it will be long-term but if you find that the alliance is not working then you need to quickly dissolve the relationship and move on.

Start out slow and get to know the alliance so that you can make good judgement calls before forming the agreement.

There are many things to consider when forming alliances.  One of the goals of the Small Business Enterprise Centre is to empower small and medium-sized businesses and provide the right tools and mindset to achieve success.  For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at halton.ca/smallbusiness, by email at smallbusiness@halton.ca or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

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