There was a really good post by Justine Parsons from ‘Your Virtual Assistant NZ’ talking about the value of Strategic Alliances. It was a really good reminder of the opportunities that come from working closely with other businesses who are in a different sphere from your own. These businesses allow you to focus on doing what you do rather than constantly developing new tools that you hope will improve your bottom line.
At Intuto, we know all about building tools that we thought we could do better than anyone else. Maybe we were right, and maybe there weren’t the right tools available at the time, but one thing is for certain - We invested a huge amount of hard won capital into tools that were not our core business. Payment gateways, chat rooms, and even our own CRM system. We almost built an online calling system but fortunately we became aware of Skype as part of the scoping process. Lucky break!
All these extraneous tools are now available at a fraction of the cost of developing them ourselves and this ‘evolution’ allows us to focus on what we do best. And that is the point of Justine’s blog. Once you know what you need, see what is available on the market first. Chances are there will be a product that is better, cheaper and will help expand your business faster than you would otherwise be able to.
One way to grow your business is with a strategic alliance. Strategic alliances in business is a formal relationship between two or more businesses that enables each to achieve certain objectives neither would be able to achieve on their own. It is a mutually beneficial relationship to both parties and a growth strategy very popular amongst small businesses.
Who you choose as your strategic partner is key.
Do your homework first!
Benefits in forming an alliance:
- The ability to offer your customers a larger variety of products or services.
- Allows you to spend less time developing more products or services.
- Shared advertising and marketing costs.
- An increased offering to your existing customers, thus increasing your sales and profits.
- A point of difference over your competitors.
- A wider audience as you gain exposure to your alliance partner’s clientele.
Examples of strategic alliances:
- A life coach may form alliances with a personal trainer and a nutritionist.
- A real estate agent may form an alliance with a home image consultant.
- A distribution company may form an alliance with an importer.
- A social media marketer may form alliances with a graphic designer and copywriter.
On a bigger scale, strategic alliances can help a firm gain a competitive advantage. PepsiCo formed a joint venture with the Thomas J. Lipton Co. to market ready-to-drink teas throughout the United States. Lipton contributed brand recognition in teas and manufacturing expertise. PepsiCo, as the world’s second-largest soft-drink manufacturer, shared its extensive distribution network.
If you are interested in partnering with Intuto to take advantage of our skills and expertise, please get in contact with us. If you're interested in more information on forming a Strategic Alliance, and how this may benefit you're business - check out this article from ANZ's BizHub.