by Lauren Ford
Marriage? Babies? Sure, one day — but I don’t sense a rush. Never have, really. I’ve always been heavily career-focused, even as a kid. After countless beach days building sandcastles, my architectural dreams faded and by 22 I had earned years of experience in the communications world, reporting on Big East Conference athletics. Working with a number of public relations partners – the good, the not-so-good and the FIRED – we struggled to find the right fit for our company. To our fault, we were so focused on project milestones, that we ignored the big picture; the key indications of a successful partnership.
Five years later, managing marketing communications for a leading document technologies developer, I’ve gained critical insight from numerous roundtables, surveys and one-on-one discussions on why dealers choose our Partner Program, and the inspiration behind their continued dedication. So although I don’t (yet) have the secrets to securing the perfect partner in life, I can tell you the key company indicators to consider when finding the perfect partner in business.
- Share a Commitment: What is the mission behind your potential new business partner? Does it align with your company’s current goals and future initiatives? Make sure your interests are mutually beneficial — the only way a partnership will be successful is if both parties are happy. Forming a strategic alliance involves working together to achieve a common purpose. A partnership geared toward success will entail a shared common commitment of driving business forward. Each party needs to be equally dedicated to the cause, putting in an equal amount of effort and resources. Build a partnership that starts strong, and stays strong.
- Recognize Innovation: It’s not about which company has been around the longest or how recognizable their name is. To ensure partnership success, look for what energizes and motivates you about this business. Search for the industry innovator – the one who is creating the tools first, thus keeping you ahead of your competition. Product, solution or service, the goal to gaining more recognition and closing more sales is by staying ahead of the curve. With that, know that a strategic alliance means that you can lean on each other, share thoughts and ideas. This is the key to finding that partner in business that will last. Look beyond how far a company has come – what matters most is where they’ll take you.
- Scalable Support: As your company grows, you need a partner to grow with you. From marketing resources, pre-sales support, post-sales support and educational services, a solid partner will not only give you the tools to succeed, they will guide you through each step of the way. Make sure your team understands the resources that will be made available through the potential partnership. Identify the company’s strengths and envision how they will be utilized to help push your business into the spotlight. Above all, you should feel comfortable learning from each other in order to take businesses initiatives to new heights of success.
Lauren Ford is Marketing Communications Manager and the dynamic voice behind Square 9 Softworks. Delivering highly effective messaging across reseller channels, end user communities and outside agencies, Ford develops, drives and executes communication plans that effectively support Square 9’s overall marketing goals and objectives. To learn more visit www.square-9.com.