What Should You Ask Before Entering Partnerships?

What does it take to build stronger partnerships today?What does it take to build stronger partnerships today?
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Successful organizations build stronger partnerships. If it’s that simple, why don’t more organizations build better relationships with other organizations?  

What do successful partnerships require?

Successful partnerships require two organizations who are committed to making them successful. How do you determine if a partner is a good fit for your organization? As importantly, how do you decide if your organization is ready to work with partners?

I recently did an interview on the “It’s not about me” vlog with Greg Viloria of Monks Media Works.  We came up with a series of questions that you should review before deciding if partnerships can help take your organization to the next level.  The good news is we captured it on video. It’s called “Seven Questions to Ask Yourself Before Entering a Partnership” If you enjoy the content please subscribe while you’re there. I share the questions today down below.

We have several other vlogs talking about how to build successful partnerships if you’re a social entrepreneur or nonprofit. I’m sure it’s not a coincidence, I use these questions to evaluate partners in my role as a business development executive and sponsorship strategist. They have helped my clients generate millions of sales for my clients and partner organizations over the years.

Partnerships should be fun

Partnerships should provide your organization an opportunity to grow and prosper. To make it more fun, you need to invest time to better understand the outcomes you want from the relationship. The time you invest at the initial stages serves as a great foundation for future growth and opportunities.

Less is more when creating successful collaborations.

I invest several hours getting to know my partners. My clients invest thousands of dollars to recruit partners. My philosophy is less is more when creating successful partnerships. So many organizations waste their time on many unproductive relationships. Over 80% of executives feel they have not received the expected results from their alliances.

I’ve led and managed channel partnerships that have generated over $100,000,000 in annual sales. I’ve partnered to help generate millions of dollars in sponsorship funding for several regional nonprofits.

It comes down to asking yourself and your partners a series of questions to bring focus and clarity to your partnering efforts. Once you go through these simple questions you are better prepared to make your partnerships work.

Successful partnership is a team sport. If your team is not excited about the partnering opportunity, don’t do it. Save your time and money and find a better opportunity to collaborate with another organization. Here are the questions I ask potential partner and my teams.

Questions for better partnering

Here are the questions I use to help qualify new partnerships. I will be adding a video that will be going out early next week. Also, if your interested in learning more about collaboration and successful partnerships and sponsorships you should subscribe to our Strategic Performance Partners YouTube channel.      

  • What are the important reasons for you going into partnership with one or more people or organizations?
  • What are the key strengths, skills, and abilities you bring to the partnership? Include both soft and hard skills in your thinking.
  • What skills and capabilities are you looking for in your partners? What must they have? Are these skills available through outsourcing or barter arrangements?
  • What different ways could you structure a potential partnership? Joint venture, strategic alliance, or short term informal partnerships as needed?
  • What safeguards do you put in place to protect your organization if the partnership doesn’t work out?
  • Do you need a written partnership agreement? When should you develop a more formal approach to partnership?
  • How do you exit your partnerships? What needs to happen and why? Do both partners need to agree? 

These questions should get you started on thinking about how a partnership can benefit your organization and community. Tune in to Strategic Performance Partners YouTube channel to learn more about building a stronger, more sustainable nonprofit or social enterprise. 

See you next week.

About the Author

Tripp Braden partners with entrepreneurs and senior executives on their high engagement C-Suite communication and content marketing strategies. He believes client education is the best way of building trust and long term sustainable growth. His consulting practice focuses on second stage entrepreneurs, technology organizations, and senior level business executives. Tripp partners with clients to develop high impact C-Suite communication and account based marketing strategies. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Tripp at tbraden@marketleadership.net or send him an invite on LinkedIn. You can find Tripp’s business growth blog at Market Leadership Journal.

Tripp Braden – who has written posts on Empowering Serving Leaders.


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