When running a business you are always looking for ways to grow, add creative and talented staff, and in general have a bigger reach all without having to increase your budget too much. One of the best ways to do that is to partner with another business. Collaborative efforts between two businesses can help both grow and in the long run become stronger businesses with better reputations for their work and willingness to do what it takes to get the job done well.
But before one company jumps into relationship with another it is wise to consider a few things like if you have the same vision and mindset for what you do and how you do it, can you add value to each other’s businesses, and what is the background and reputation of the business you are partnering with because their reputation will have an impact on yours too.
One of the first things you want to do when joining forces with another company is to find out the background and professional reputation of that company. Like a marriage, when you partner with that business a portion of their reputation will become yours simply because of that partnership and you need to be aware if there is anything negative or contradictory that could reflect on you professionally. Michael Fertik, founder of Reputation.com states that “businesses and individuals have the right to control and protect their online reputation and privacy.” It can be very important in these partnership ventures that you work with a company like Reputation to help shape and control your business’s image and the information that is communicated about your company.
Then next step in the process would be to set some boundaries and ground rules that both companies can agree on. Making sure everyone knows what role they play and how they fit can prevent difficult hurdles in the long run, and at the same time it helps to insure that everything is getting done because everyone will have a task. Also, make sure you lay solid ground work for a clear communication plan between companies and workers as they collaborate.
A great tip from the book Beyond Success Consulting is to give more than you take and this will help in making you someone that the current, or other companies, may want to partner with in the future as well. Make sure to put everything in writing so it is clear how to use budgets, staff, and any other resources that will be used and shared between the two businesses for the duration of the venture.
When you decide to partner with a company, remember you both will have some strengths and some weakness. The important thing is to clearly define all of that upfront and decide how people and resources will be utilized, as well as how everything will be communicated for the sake of the professional reputation of everyone involved. Ultimately partnering with another business can be very good for your corporation. Just remember that when you are working together you are partners, not competitors and you will be amazed at how well things can turn out and help your company.