Effective business partnering involves two or more businesses working together to achieve particular goals, which may be their own goals and/or mutually agreed goals. A common goal of partnering is to enable increased sales and growth, through benefitting from other businesses networks and opportunities. It can also be necessary, for example where a product is only required as part of a broader offering. It can be helpful to look at where your business is in terms of involvement in partnering, before addressing partnering further. Where are you now and where do you want to be, in terms of level of involvement in partnering. We can categorize businesses into partnering types like this. Which one are YOU? Note ‘P’ is for ‘partner’ in the picture below.
The ‘Loner’ Business is not involved in partnering at all. They work independently and don’t partner with other suppliers.
The ‘Occasional Reactive’ Business does not engage in partnering very often and when they do it’s because they have responded to another partner’s request. The Occasional Reactive does not see much benefit in partnering or doesn’t have the time or energy to put into it.
Then there’s the type of business that ‘Often Partners’. They understand the benefits of partnering and regularly engage in partnering. It may be that the business model or type of service depends to some extent on partnering and so they are reasonably proactive about it. Or they might be reactive to opportunities that come along; they have a good partner network and readily and often respond to partnering engagements.
The ‘Mature’ partnering business is very active in partnering and their business model depends on it. The Mature partnering business likes working with other partners and they have built their business around partnering. This type of business has a strong awareness of the benefit and opportunity that comes from working with others.
My question is, which best represents your company? Which type of business is yours, in the picture above? Is this where you want to be?