June 24th, 2010 Archive

Partnership Benefits

June 24th, 2010 by Liz in Financial Freedom

From Shakespeare’s “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,” to John Donne’s “No man is an Island, entire of itself,” to the common saying, “Two heads are better than one….” — these ideas all come from a place of truth. We might want to think that we can handle anything and everything all the time, but there are moments when we’re proven quite wrong. Then, when things do go wrong, fear builds within us and we lose part of the confidence that helps us face whatever comes our way. We lose part of what gives us the inspiration to do what we do. It kind of hurts and makes us a feel a little stumped when that happens, doesn’t it? <g>

This is exactly when a good partnership comes in. It’s always reassuring to have a person or group that could support and complement our talents and skills, as well as fill in our weaknesses. That’s why in business, as in life, it’s amazing when you’re able to find the right partner. Your equal, supposedly and if you will, in the overall scheme of things. I’m lucky enough to have found that in my husband, Ric, and our numerous business partners and affiliates. Without them, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have reached the kind of success we have today.       

Exploring the Unknown

More often than not, as business owners, we are afraid to test the waters and try out new things. We become so comfortable in our shells, our time-tested tools and in doing things our own way. Why should we try something new, take a risk and put everything at stake, when you’re right where you think you want to be, safe and sound and earning just like you’re used to? Why bother when during this tough times, many are suffering more losses than you?

Like all business people, we know that the danger of running a business is when you’ve hit the plateau. It’s not really that rock bottom we’re afraid of, isn’t it, but the static, unmoving line we’re seemingly stuck in. <g> Nowadays, people are satisfied just to survive, especially when we see our businesses as tickets to our independence, freedom and happiness. But then again, our raw instinct tells us that for businesses to survive, it has to be profitable. To survive, it is not enough just to be safe. It is important to be risky too. The trick is to know how and up to where we’re willing to risk.

Source: GettyImages.com

Stepping Up When Needs Must

Part of growing up in business is accepting that there, indeed, comes a time when we need a little help, or boost if you will. If you have the talents and products but not the right means to advertise and promote them, then get a partner. If you have all the resources and money in the world but not the right product or product development team, then get a partner. Sometimes, we think and think and rack our brains some more about what we could do to survive in this competitive world of business. In reality though, the answer may just be that simple and staring us right in front of our faces. <g>

This is what we can pull from the Small Business CEO Magazine article, Tips to Be a Profitable Business in 2010 by Scott Letourneau –- joint ventures are the “in” thing that would help businesses more profitable this 2010. It has worked before and will continue to work beyond our time. It will eliminate the dread and fear that tend to overcome us whenever it’s time to pay the bills, give our staff their salaries or feed and provide for our families.   

One good business success secret, then, is knowing how to form ventures. Small companies should include this in their goal setting when they start their businesses. They would definitely thrive with strategic alliances, especially if they know how and with whom to partner. Partnerships are not just about building relationships. It’s about building and maintaining profitable ones.

Partnerships are a good way to start and strengthen a business – large or small. Another company can complement those that you need to improve on or those you lack. Even big industries tie up with smaller units to create faster and more personalized products and services. A creative production agency that needs technical specialists can partner with a product development company to refine their marketing strategy. A publishing giant can partner with a research consultancy group. It boils down to working smart and doing what you need to do to ensure your business success.  

Forming partnerships can help us avoid hitting the downward spiral that often follows the monotonous drone of a flailing business. Partnerships help our businesses to diversify and multiply, and to continue churning out brighter and fresher ideas.

Braving the Future

As marketing and business people, we should know that size is not solely dependent on manpower or resources. It can also be measured by different factors such as profits, investments and of course, market reach.

One of the dangers in being a big business is that it has a lot of areas to cover. Therefore, it will be faster to crash. The issue with a smaller business, on the other hand, is the need to compete with larger businesses and coming up short due to lack of resources, means or connections. Thus, it will be harder to fly. The key, then, is in knowing how to specialize and develop areas of specialization – making sure that all the little nuts and bolts work, in hope of hitting the right altitude needed to soar smoothly amidst all the money-making businesses. 

Instead of continuously trying to build empires, why not start with towns? Dividing your business into smaller fields, or taking things one at a time, then strengthening these areas can provide personal and smart approaches to product development and marketing. Segmented and specialized fields often become autonomous and empowered, which can streamline workflow and expedite processes and decisions. Eventually, when these smaller areas have proven their worth, they become profitable and competitive and can even be grown into their own full-blown businesses.  

Not many business people venture unto the far side, but this could just be the side that would enhance your strengths and help you discover new ones. We often feel cautious when it comes to change. But change is inevitable, especially since all businesses have cycles. Up and down, some die out and some survive. And sometimes, there are those that seem to have become lost in the vastness of it all when it fact, they are just there – only with a different look.

Don’t be afraid of change. Letting others in and partnering with them can make a huge difference. That difference may be a small or huge leap, but it could be the leap that transforms, not only your products and market, but how you drive others to change as well. The true measure of how strong a business is does not only rest in its existence, but in how it exists. How, in the scheme of it all, it stands out and become the model that influences others to change.

Are you in a profitable business partnership? How has this strategic alliance helped the performance of your business? Let us know through the comments section below.

Happy partnership!
Liz