Developing Strategic Partnerships

The man who purchased his own boots and – all by himself – pulled up his own bootstraps should probably skip this article altogether. It’s not for you.

But the rest of us, who know we cannot make it alone, developing strategic partnerships is an essential part of our lives – both personal and professional. We can all agree that no human being is an island.

Think of co-parenting. Isn’t this just a strategic partnership of sorts? You both share a common goal of raising a well-rounded citizen, someone to carry on your legacy, someone you both love and want to see succeed. Right? Although you may not share other common ground, this one common denominator keeps you cordial enough and engaged in the process.

Strategic partnerships in the professional space are a little less complicated and are the current topic that we would like to tackle. First, let’s consider what a “strategic” partnership actually is.

A consultation with Merriam-Webster reveals that “strategy” is best defined as a “careful plan, method or clever stratagem” and the “art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a goal.” We believe that the keywords in this definition are “plan” and “goal.”

Whether building one’s career or a company’s upward trajectory, it is always a good idea to have a plan and a goal in mind. Mapping your company’s success starts with identifying your current standing in the market and your ideal place or destination. Then, you and your team should ask, “How do we move from our current state to our desired state? What are the steps we must make to get there?”

Somewhere along the way, as you delineate and document this process, you will eventually arrive at the question – “Who can help us achieve this goal?” This is the beginning of identifying which complementary agencies will benefit and be beneficial to your company. In other words, who can scratch your back, and whose back could use some scratching? In summation, in order for a strategic partnership to last – even if it is a utility relationship – it must be mutually beneficial for both parties or agencies. For example, your very lucrative company may need to increase its organic social media reach, while another company (with an impressive social media following) may need funding. That marriage will work!

Another way to identify an ideal strategic partner is to gauge whether the potential partner’s mission and/or vision statement(s) somehow complement your own. Also, research whether your target audiences overlap? These and other considerations can guide you to the best business partner that can spur your company’s growth both now and far into the future.