Lisa Terrenzi

Business Development and Strategic Alliances — Tips and Tricks

Business Development and Strategic Alliances — Tips and Tricks

In this day and age, almost every activity you are doing or want to be doing has something to do with developing business or creating and managing alliances. Having been developing business and creating alliances for 15 years, I want to share some of my knowledge to help you be successful too.


COMPANY STRATEGY: Ensure your overall strategy is clearly defined so you know which alliances to create. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a company go through a lot to secure the needed alliance only to find out mid-stream that they really needed something entirely different. A lot of wasted time and resources could be avoided if you just ensure your overall strategy is up to date and applicable for the immediate future and aligns with where you want to go in the long term as well.

REASONS FOR ALLIANCE: Define the exact purposes for an alliance such as:
Able to offer your customers a larger variety of products or services.
Can offer your customers more back-end and upsell products.
Able to expand your business faster, including increasing your overall market either globally or a larger reaching market.
Gain access to better technology, including able to develop new products and services quicker or more talent to be able to innovate better and faster.
And many more.

ALLIANCE RESEARCH: Be sure to do enough research into which alliance partner you should seek. There are usually many different options. Specifying key points that are important to you and then prioritizing your potential alliances by order of how they measure up to those key points will help you decide on the best possible alliance partner.

DEFINE THE OUTCOMES: Ensure you define the expected outcomes from such a relationship for both sides of the alliance and structure the operation of the alliance around this so each company does benefit. As long as each company is truly benefiting from the relationship, it will be a successful alliance.

GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP: Develop a really good working relationship with your potential alliance partner. Having a good and workable communication line established is essential to a successful long term alliance. A hard fast rule is that communication is the universal solvent.

IMPLEMENTATION: Make sure you agree on and implement simple monitoring systems to ensure both sides of the alliance do deliver what is agreed upon during the life of the alliance.

PROTECTION: Negotiate and implement a formal agreement and be sure to include protection for your company’s intellectual property and other important points.

AGREEMENT: Adopt the “Treat Others How You Would Want to Be Treated” rule and ensure you really do deliver what you say you will deliver and even go above and beyond that to ensure your alliance partner is very happy with your end of the agreement.

EVALUATE: Set evaluation time periods with articulated expectations and then do ensure you do the evaluations and adjust the agreements as needed.