In the business world, teamwork is one of the keys to success. This means not only working as a team within the business, but also forming strategic partnerships with other companies. When businesses that have similar goals work together, they can achieve more. The great philosopher Aristotle already said the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

Marcel Kooter has spent much of his professional life working on creating and maintaining strategic partnerships for the mutual benefit of all parties involved. Strategic partnerships in business can only be successful if they are managed properly and supported by strategic account management and often will have a formal agreement in place. 

You can learn more about the key requirements for a valid contract in the PDF attachment to this post. 

Strategic Partnerships for Marketing 

One of the most important strategies for running a successful business is the marketing strategy. A definition of marketing can be viewed in the embedded short video.  

Without good marketing, customers and potential customers remain unaware of the products and services available, the benefits they could achieve through purchasing those goods or services, and any special offers or promotions that might make them more likely to buy. A poor marketing strategy can actually result in losses to the business, such as one where the costs of the advertising campaign outweigh the income generated.  

Through the development of strategic partnerships, businesses can improve their marketing strategy to help grow the business with minimal costs. One such example would be two businesses that offer services or products that are not the same, but which complement each other. These businesses could choose to work together to refer clients to each other at little to no additional cost. 

Strategic Partnerships with Suppliers 

Many businesses are reliant on the services of suppliers, whether for raw materials to make the products, people to supply vital equipment, or simply for essentials such as office supplies.  

Developing strategic partnerships with these suppliers results in positive relationships being built and maintained. This in turn can lead to better service, access to exclusive discounts, priority delivery, or even new products being created that are personally tailored to meet the needs of the growing business. 

Strategic Partnerships for Technology 

In the modern business world, we are increasingly reliant on technology to be able to offer customers a streamlined service and create an optimum business model. Not all businesses will have their own in-house technical team, which means forging strategic partnerships with external experts. 

These could include website designers and IT experts, maintenance people, creators of custom software, or network providers. Developing strategic partnerships with these people ensures that they will understand the specific requirements of the business they are working with and be able to offer a better service. 

Strategic Partnerships for Finance 

Creating revenue is one of the key goals of any business, so financial partners have an important role to fulfil. Strategic financial partners may include accountants, financial advisers, banks and investors. The role of a strategic financial partner is to help monitor the financial workings of the business and provide professional advice on ways in which revenue streams can be increased, costs can be cut, and the amount of available money be increased. 

Forming Strategic Partnerships 

When forming strategic partnerships, businesses first need to identify those companies that are in a position to offer mutual benefits. As there is a cost involved there should be an in-depth analysis to establish the potential value of a strategic approach; there has to be a strategic and organisational fit and ultimately there needs to be mutual willingness. Once potential partners have been identified a lot of analysis needs to be completed before the business can successfully reach out to others and suggest ways in which working together could help each party achieve key goals, such as increasing the customer base or lowering the cost of doing business. 

In the infographic attachment, you can see some of the statistical benefits of forming strategic partnerships, taken from a survey of 330 senior business leaders located around the world.