Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is there room for new strategic partners?

While we all try to survive the economic downturn, it might be worthwhile for you to open up your playbook and consider entering into some new strategic business relationships. You may not be as busy as you once were, and now could be a good time to not only seek out new strategic partners, but to re-visit some of the past partnership ideas that you originally passed on.

Perhaps you were too busy a year ago to pay attention to another small business that wanted to work with you. If you still have a contact at that company, reach out to them and ask them how business is going. Something like a word of mouth referral is worth your time.

It would be a good idea to have your own ideas about how you can make the alliance an effective one, but be more of a listener when you approach the other business. You don’t want to step on anyone’s feet, so listen to what avenues they are willing to explore and be ready to adjust your position on how you can help each other to be successful.

The best way to prepare when approaching these companies is by familiarizing yourself with what they do. What is their company history? What is their mission statement? What is their service and who are they trying to help? Who are their current partners? Visit their website and polish up on your general knowledge about the company. This makes you conversational and credible when speaking about potential business ventures.

Whether you end up trading contacts, providing each other with leads or website links, a little can go a long way during difficult times. Dig up those old business cards and go through your old emails, you never know who might help your small business get back on its feet!

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