Picking the right partner is much like choosing the ideal alliance when you go to war. Pick the right one that aligns with your values, and you will win; otherwise, hard luck, pal! A Strategic partnership can be beneficial to startups as it helps in reducing your time to market, provide advice and mentorship, increases valuation, etc.
Evaluating your options is crucial when choosing an ideal partner. Here are steps to assess and pick the right choice to find the most compatible strategic business partner.
Define and Validate Your Target Market Clearly
Finding your target market is the first goal of any startup or business. The first order is to find and identify your TG, the customers who require your product, service, or solution the most. This process allows you to determine the gap between what functionality you have to deliver realistically to solve a problem. One of the biggest mistakes that startups make is that they start making their perfect product without having any partners to fill their gaps. For someone new to the business, a little guidance can help.
Choose the Right Criteria For Partner Selection
If you don’t know where to start or go, how will you know when you reach there? Discuss with your management team and find a criterion for selecting a partner that aligns with your business values. Ask questions like:
What is the potential for impact? – When looking for an alliance or partnership, it is good to search for one that has the potential to deliver value to your company. Check its impact on your competitive position, brand awareness, and market acceleration.
Do the partner and our company share similar values? – This allows you to see if the partner’s culture and values align with yours. You can see how well your team can work with the partners. You can consult your network or your friend’s network to find a partner that can be helpful.
Do they have a suitable environment for partnership? – Knowing the partner culture of the company you decide to partner with can be crucial. Check their past track record and see if they have fallouts with other companies. You can talk to their existing partners and find out how their experience has been with the company.
What are the benefits of partnering with them? – Some of these companies might have partnered with your competitors in the past. Partnering with two or more companies can also help gather more information through their network.
Identify and Select Partner Candidates
You must’ve identified gaps in your market validation from the previous steps. Good! Now you can start ruling out partner companies that can help you cover those gaps. Leverage your investor and consultant networks, search online and do your research to find the apt partner. Look at what the experts say are disruptors and innovators in the space you’re looking to fill. Add these companies to your list and narrow down and eliminate the companies to a manageable list.
Prepare a Partner Proposition Worksheet
For each potential partner, have a file or a word doc containing information regarding them. Think WIIFT (What’s in it for them). Now that you know what you want from your partner stand in their shoes and think about what THEY can gain from YOUR company. Why would they want to partner with you? What can they achieve? How can you convince them to join your mission? What do you have that they can use to beat their competition? Questions like these can help you find how you can convince your potential partners to join you. Do your research and understand the company’s goals, objectives, and strategies. Analyze how they are performing in the market and what they can use for the edge they need to improve. Build a concrete vision for your partnership that can be a win-win for both of you. Be clear about what you want your partner to do. Articulate a partner position that will signify what you propose to do with your partnership. Identify your options and be very specific with what you want.
Proceed with Recruitment Calls
You are ready to make your calls provided you have completed your background research on your prospective partner. Depending on the firm’s size, you will have to speak to one of the top-tier people in their management system. Get a good contact to make the first impression through your network. Send them a presentation or a copy of your completed partner proposal worksheet and tell them what you’re looking for. Your partner will be impressed with how prepared you are when you show what you know about them. Follow up and finish up all the necessary procedures.
Communicate and See If You Want the Same Things
Sit with your partner and his team and evaluate if they fit your business objectives and values. They might want to see if your product has any relevance as well. You might need to discuss the paperwork and see what investments you need to make the partnership final. A rough layout of your business partnership can be drafted.
Negotiate an Agreement and Develop An Alliance Plan
This can be for sure that the moment you made your call, the negotiation process began. Establish your values and goals throughout the process, so it gets ingrained in the partner’s mind. Prepare legal and business terms documents that provide all general business agreements.
After this, include the lawyers to finalize everything. Now before you celebrate, there are some more things left to do. It would be best if you worked on an alliance plan that goes in agreement with your partner. It should follow the agreed partnership goals, action plans, and rules of engagement that you had agreed upon. Assing an alliance manager from your company to stay on good terms with your partner.
Come back to the point in the beginning. Finding the right partner can put your BIG IDEA into motion and make it successful beyond imagination. You have a huge gap to fill for people who have ideas but lack the technical knowledge and the ways of doing business. However, with companies like Project 10K, you are closer to your dream than ever. Pitch your idea to Project 10K, and if it aligns with the value of Project 10K and impacts the world well, a partnership is assured. With Project 10K, you have a state-of-the-art tech team at your disposal and the company’s network of seasoned entrepreneurial mentorship that can guide you. With Project 10K’s proven track record, it is a company that can give your startup the start it deserves. Visit https://project10k.com/pitch/ for further information.