11 Things to Know About: Partnerships
A partnership could be just what you need if you seek to gain access to a new market segment, collaborative for a large project, or get your name out there. When you're working with another entity though, you want to make your needs and value clear. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. What skills or services can you provide to your partner? What are some things you are hoping a partner can offer you?
- Find the right partner. Choosing exactly who you want to partner with is important. In order to have a successful partnership the people you choose should have complimentary goals, a similar target audience, and share mutual responsibility.
- Evaluate the benefits. If you are looking to grow you organization and need more people to do so, would your partnering company be able to volunteer swap? Are there opportunities for cross-promotions that may help you generate revenue?
- Make a solid contact. Once you have identified who you want to partner with, make sure you meet with them and lay out exactly what you can offer them as well as what you expect in return.
- Be prepared. When proposing a partnership, you want to impress them not only with your own business proposals but with your own knowledge of theirs as well.
- Be confident and courteous. Don’t sell yourself short. Accentuate why what you’re doing is important and what makes you unique. Explain what makes you stand out as an organization and why they should be excited to partner with you.
- Ask questions. Don’t hesitate to ask about anything you may be unsure about or for what you need. Feel free to ask questions you have regarding their company or things you need to know if they can provide for you whether it is immediate supplies or volunteers down the road.
- Make it official. Draft an affiliation agreement and make sure you and your partners are happy with it before you sign.
- Examine the fit. Be sure that the partnership continues to follow the original guidelines and is fulfilling on both ends.
- Make adjustments as needed. Don’t be afraid to make a change, whether it is ending a partnership, changing contacts, or renewing the partnerships under new terms and agreements. Speak up!
- Remember to follow up and keep in touch. Keeping in contact with your partners is always important. Make sure you are not just contacting them whenever you need something, but when you have something to offer as well or just to see how things are going. Communication is key in a strong partnership.