Strong Strategic Alliances – 3 Tips to Get Started

20497429Strategic business alliances can help you build your business more quickly, generating business momentum and creating more rapid business results

As it sounds, a strategic alliance (or joint venture) is a business agreement made between business owners with the focus on generating mutually helpful business outcomes. An example of this kind of partnership would be when two business owners partner up to create an event, and each brings their own skills to the project, resulting in an event that was better, bigger, and more profitable than either could have created alone.

Strategic alliances can sometimes occur as cross-promotional arrangements, such as when you visit your local bakery, and they are promoting the florist shop next door.

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9 New Steps for Managing Strategic Alliances That Work

AllianceBankfrontIn a recent press release, Hallmark, the world’s leading greeting card brand, announced a strategic alliance with Shutterfly Inc., a leading Internet-based digital photo site. The goal is to have “exclusive Hallmark-designed customizable cards featured on Shutterfly’s new personalized greeting card site, Treat.com.”

According to Investopedia.com, a strategic alliance is…

… an arrangement between two companies that have decided to share resources to undertake a specific, mutually beneficial project.

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There’s Strength in Strategic Alliances

jAn alliance is really just a business-to-business collaboration. Some people use the term business networking when referring to alliances. Alliances are formed for many reasons. When you are a small business owner, it’s important to understand that there is a strength that can be utilized by strategic alliances, which may be overlooked in light of developing new business and developing additional revenue streams.

Small business alliances produce great rewards

Alliances between small businesses can offer additional benefits besides an increase in business. For instance, there are alliances of small business owners who proactively approach office supply corporations, internet service providers, health care providers and others on behalf of their membership base in order to secure better rates, additional services, and other benefits as the result of the alliance they’ve formed. There’s strength in numbers when you’re a small business owner, and if there are some products or services that you’re looking for to enhance your business, chances are other small business owners are looking for similar products or services too. Why not form a strategic alliance and approach the product or service provider as a group to show that there is a need? There is a market and that you are aligned in hopes of doing business with large companies who are willing to work with you.

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What is an Alliance and Why Consider One?

51228741A business alliance is a formal association of two or more business parties to further their common interests, presumably over the long term. As such, these alliances take many forms with varying degrees of complexity and difficulty.

In its simplest form, an alliance can be described as a buy/sell arrangement. On a more complex level, a long term relationship and alliance may result from an effort to co-develop or share technology, or a through technology licensing agreement. Even more complex in nature are partnerships and joint ventures. Joint ventures typically achieve the ultimate level of complexity, particularly when the global aspect of business is introduced and especially if the parties to the alliance are from different countries and different cultures.

Unfortunately, there are too many examples of alliances formed between business entities that were predicated upon the premise that “everyone else in the industry is doing it, so it must be the right course of action.” Others have been formed based upon the whim of upper-level management with no real analysis as to whether an alliance was necessary.

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What is an Alliance?

alliance bankA business alliance is a formal association of two or more business parties to further their common interests, presumably over the long term. As such, these alliances can take many forms with varying degrees of complexity and difficulty. In its simplest form, an alliance can be described as a buy/sell arrangement. On a more complex level, a long term relationship and alliance may result from an effort to co-develop or share technology, or possibly from a technology licensing agreement. Even more complex are partnerships or joint ventures especially when the global aspect of business is introduced, and especially if the parties to the alliance are from different countries and different cultures.

Before attempting to form an alliance, you need to make sure that you are familiar with the steps. Preparing in advance is like practicing the dance steps before your first dance. It will help you avoid possible mistakes, and perhaps stepping on someone else’s toes.

To begin with, you will need to answer the following key questions before you take that first dance step:

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