Last week we talked about why using strategic alliances is the universal client attraction method for solopreneurs. Here at Top 6 Business Coach, we love this sales method because all entrepreneurs can use it.
Plus. It is a solopreneur’s fast path to expanding your reach, network and sales. We recommend you identify at least 10 Strategic Alliances. Ask yourself “Who are the 10 people/companies that would really put me on the map, if we were able to support each other”?
But business alliances are not as straight-forward as friendships; you need to select them carefully so that the businesses can support each other.
You need to create a WIN-WIN relationship with your Strategic Alliances or you might as well throw that partnership out the window right now. You must be able to like, trust, and mutually support, champion and help one another if the alliance is going to work out well.
Trivia: These Win-Win vanity plates belong to our CEO Tommi Wolfe. She loves them because the Win-Win sentiment is key to all entrepreneurial relationships. And especially with the Strategic Alliance relationship!
5 Steps to Choosing a Great a Strategic Alliance for Your Small Business
Here are some steps that the Top 6 coaching team believe are great for helping you to choose these partners.
1. Find someone who already sells to a group of your ideal clients
Strategic alliances also help expand your reach into new markets. For this to be effective, partner businesses must have similar target markets—and the broader their reach, the better.
2. Find someone who has an offering or product that doesn’t compete, that your market really needs
Business owners usually focus their attentions on a particular service or product so that they can produce it very well. However, our clients will often benefit from subscribing to similar, related services. If you can find businesses that specialize in services or products that complement your own, it is beneficial to both businesses to refer clients to one another.
However, you do not want business partners who are doing exactly the same thing as you are, or you will be in direct competition.
3. Business partners should also have more or less the same philosophical stance
They should believe in the same things, whether those values are environmentalism or customer relations. Which values are important will depend on the nature of the business. This ensures that clients will feel at ease using both businesses, and it will give you peace of mind to refer them to your partner.
4. Look at how well you can champion each other
Can you bring real value to this business alliance and its clients? Can they bring real value to you? How can you nurture and support each other? These are vital questions.
5. Look at the size of your strategic alliances network and reach
Very often, strategic alliances work well together when their businesses are of similar sizes. However, don’t let this stop you from approaching some bigger players – if you have something valuable to offer their market, or vice versa – this arrangement can still work to everyone’s advantage.
You might not know the answers to all these questions right away; sometimes you have to test out an alliance to see if it will work. But keep these things in mind as you move forward.