Choose Wisely, Grasshopper

May 8, 2015By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing

by Dave Wendland

For those “experienced” enough you may remember the 1970s kung fu episodes with the constant reminder to “Choose wisely, Grasshopper.” Thus is the case when considering strategic partnerships and allies in your quest to meet your business objectives.

The first consideration in selecting potential partners to advance your business is to clearly determine the needed subject matter expertise. In other words, identify your areas that need shoring up and then narrow the field to those that fill the void.

Second, it’s all about chemistry. Not dissimilar to personal relationships, you want to work with someone you can get along with; openly and honestly sharing opinions and ideas. You’ll want to gain a deep understanding of each other’s commitment, processes, expertise, communication style, and overall personality before engaging in any form of partnership.partnership

The final decision centers on the structure of the business relationship itself. Some partners may be “utility players” who are called in for particular stop-gap support or specialized, short-term projects. Still others may be more formally assembled wherein two or more companies agree to take on economic activities together – think risk/reward.

A solid team of partners often includes industry experts, technical consultants, marketing gurus, category pros, and the like. Regardless of its makeup, the team must be committed to a common goal. If partners are chosen unwisely it can slow down the path of progress or head off in some direction having nothing to do with the overall objective. Most importantly, although getting there may not be fast, when you surround yourself with the right team members the results can be spectacular.

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