Strategic partnerships can be a game changer for your business

Google, Facebook Sony — it can be difficult to compete with the giants in almost any business. They have a breadth of experience and expertise, and brand recognition resources. But while their counterparts are viewed by startups as competition entrepreneurs look to identify opportunities to work together.

As a small business is to seek out partnerships with businesses target markets and commonalities, but that aren’t direct competitors.

Forming partnerships empowers a company to benefit from an existing consumer base, as well as. For the business that is larger, it can place them provide value-added for their clients and even end up being a testing ground for a possible acquisition down the road. Whether you wish to improve sales, increase brand awareness or go after a market, here are a couple of ways that partnerships can give you the edge you need over businesses that are small that are competing.

Find larger brands that share a target market and give a win-win deal: Successful partnerships are all about identifying which companies are also targeting your ideal customer and finding a way to offer value back to the spouse.

Business development and partnerships ran at startup , which rents out designer dresses to girls. While I knew we had to reach a large audience so as to hit our objectives, we had to aim the right type of people — women needing a gorgeous designer gown who had been interested in cheap ethical consumption.

I recognized charity galas as the ideal partner, and approached each charity gala and non-profit base in the nation and suggested a mutually beneficial partnership: when they agreed to promote our brand and services to their attendees, we would contribute an agreed-upon proportion of any direct earnings back in their fundraising initiative. It was a situation and, with time, these partnerships accounted for lots of our revenue.

We also formed a partnership with Delta Hotels to target visitors heading out for the day — in exchange for promoting the apparel rentals on all their in-room TVs, in addition to through their lodging, we provided a customized door-to-door dress-rental service for each their guests, which was a enormous value-add on either side.

Look to other startup companies for partnerships, not only Fortune 500 brands: Successful strategic partnerships do not always need to be between a small company and a significant brand — plenty of startups team up with each other for good gain.

A good example is the partnership between . Company and the service teamed up to give combined . Uber clients can listen to their own playlists during their journey or choose what they want to listen to from Spotify’s streaming catalog.

On the part of Spotify, the partnership set them apart from other major industry giants, such as Apple Music, while incentivizing customers to update their Spotify accounts. For Uber, the manoeuvre gave leverage over their opponents as the bargain was exclusive to Uber vehicles to the firm.

Use partnerships to market services, not only products: This may also work for service companies. In my role business development in a marketing agency, I have formed partnerships. This works because it gives us additional capabilities for our customers, while also providing a source of referrals.

One successful venture was with a Facebook advertising agency that is native. Our clients are searching to match our PR campaigns, so the partnership enables businesses to be sent by us to specialists that we know will deliver results and be great to work with. They do not offer design or PR solutions, so they pull us in to help augment their ad campaigns. We have formed about a dozen ventures of the sort, and they are still among the sources of prospects for the business.

Build the foundation for a long-term venture: It is tough to return to a time when there was not a Starbucks on every street corner, but the firm was not necessarily the household name it is today. Among the ways that the coffee business became an industry giant leverage partnerships that were successful.

1 example is their partnership with the bookstore chain , which found Starbucks places inside Barnes amp; Noble places, giving an avenue to Starbucks in an established merchant — giving readers and shoppers a reason to hang out in the shop. Subsequently, a deal struck in Canada in 1995 with Chapters. Starbucks can be found across Canada at Chapters places, and it has proved successful for both brands — when you locate aim.

Attempt to find as you build the venture roster for your company. Remember: your success is determined by finding solutions.

Finding the proper partners and reaching the agreement that is ideal may take some time and iteration, but it is well worth it and might be. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by securing partnerships for your company and seeking out.

Fatima Zaidi is vice-president of business development at , a creative communications agency located in Toronto. She was named among Marketing Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in 2016, and she writes for publications including the Huffington Post and BetaKit.

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At 23 and age 22, these sisters have founded their startups (The Globe and Mail)

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