Do you want to reach new markets, set up new distribution channels, piggy-back on someone else’s profile, earn endorsements and gain credibility with strategic alliances?
Every business has three types of customer.
Average business owners know who their first type of customers are. These customers are the persons or organisations that are likely to buy your product or service. Most businesses stop here.
Smart business owners also recognise their second type of customer. These are the investors and potential buyers of the business. Smart capital can accelerate growth.
Outstanding business owners know and covet the third… resellers, wholesalers, marketing partners… any person or organisation in a position to promote and sell your product or services to far more people or organisations than you can possibly reach alone.
Rather than chase individual customers, they covet relationships that will grow their customer base in the thousands. They understand the power of leverage.
So, why do most businesses never go past the first?
In this Anthill Academy session, Fiona Anson and Simone Novello share their tips for finding, signing and profiting from strategic alliances. Here are some highlights.
1. Don’t succumb to small business syndrome.
Most small businesses assume that large potential partners won’t give them the time of day.
However, according to Novello, business builders just need to recognise all the unique benefits that they can bring to the table. According to Novello, “Smaller businesses might have an extremely aligned customer base. They might have a brand that offers extremely aligned values. Maybe the larger organisation simply realises that smaller organisations can often be more nimble than they can.”
“We suggest that organisations audit their assets. You never know what might be revealed.”
2. There is no B2B or B2C.
There is only P2P. All business deals are made person to person.
When considering a strategic alliance, Anson suggests that you should only work with people who you enjoy working with. While it’s easy to be seduced by large organisations (with large reach), sometimes these organisations do not have your best interests in mind or simply do not understand the value you offer. Perhaps they hold different values.
“It’s important to remember that, with strategic alliances, you will be working very closely with your partner. It will help if you are working toward the same goals… and actually get along as fellow human beings,” says Fiona.
“If you don’t get along, it won’t work out over the longer term.”
3. Even great businesses will fail when not alliance ready.
“Large organisations can smell neediness a mile away,” says Anson. “You are entering a relationship to benefit both organisations, not as a last ditch attempt to save your bacon or get some quick customers on your books.”
Novello highlights the importance of being partner ready.
“When Naomi Simson, founder of Redballoon, was starting out, she spent hours and hours knocking on doors throughout Sydney’s busy CBD with a red balloon in one hand a pitch deck in the other,” says Novello. “This was no way to grow a business.”
What was the turning point?
“It was Redballoon’s first big alliance, with American Express, that made all the difference.” So why did it take so long? According to Novello, who was a loyalty consultant for one of Australia’s top four banks at the time, “Simson was simply not alliance ready.”
[leftpullquote]SHOULD YOU WATCH THE COURSE?[/leftpullquote]
[quote]”I tuned in into Anthill’s “Strategic Alliance” webinar reluctantly knowing full well that most free webinars end up being shameless self promotion. I was (very happily) proven 100% incorrect. Fiona and Simone (the two sharp minds running the webinar) provided a great presentation that was easy to understand and even easier to implement. Straight off the back of the seminar I used their techniques to set up two meetings with potential strategic partners that are far larger than my own company.” Josh Golombick[/quote]