In today’s highly competitive business landscape, partnering with the right businesses and organizations can play a significant role in the success of any entity. The right strategic partner can provide access to new and potential customers, increase revenue streams, boost business capabilities, and help build relationships and credibility within the local community. However, choosing the right strategic partner can be a challenging process, requiring careful consideration and evaluation to ensure the partnership elevates your organization.
Opportunity Knocks of Central Oregon is one such organization. Partnering for two decades with leaders, business owners and like-minded organizations in Central Oregon to help businesses grow, Opportunity Knocks takes strategic partnerships seriously. Understanding that each of these partnerships reflects on the work, reputation and seamless execution of our goals and objectives, we have identified some keys to success in picking successful strategic partners for your business or organization. These keys to success have been used in choosing and collaborating with our strategic partners, which include:
- Washington Trust Bank – banking services
- Tetherow Resort – resort, real estate and event center
- Miller Ferrari Wealth Management – financial planning and wealth management/investment services
- BBSI – payroll services, workers’ comp insurance, human resources, business consulting, and staffing
- TDS – advanced communications solutions for businesses (Bend, OR)
- Tonkin Torp – business and litigation law firm
- Sensiba San Filippo – certified public accountants and business advisors
- Balance Point – bookkeeping, tax and accounting services
- Payne West – insurance services
Each of these strategic partners were carefully vetted, and through their contributions, provide accessible and inclusive membership to our organization for individuals and business owners wishing to seek professional development and mentorship. It is with these contributions that we can provide personal, professional and economic growth of the Central Oregon business community at a minimal cost–a goal in which all of our strategic partners share with us, thanks to partnerships created using these keys to success.
Keys to Picking the Right Strategic Partners for Your Organization
Define Goals and Needs
The first step in selecting a successful strategic partner is to define your business goals and needs. Before considering potential partners, identify the specific areas that need improvement, expansion, or support. This will help you to narrow down your search and focus on finding partners to help achieve those goals. Having a clear sense of direction will not only help you to target and narrow down potential partners more effectively; it will also assist you in evaluating candidates more efficiently.
Another key to picking successful strategic partnerships is assessing compatibility between partners and organizations. Not all businesses are compatible or are the right fit for a strategic partnership. Look for partners that share complementary goals and values. For example, businesses interested in the same philanthropic or business growth objectives within the community. Compatibility factors can include company culture, personalities, work style, and values. It is also crucial to select a partner with individuals who can work with your organization and your team effectively.
Get to Know a Partner’s Track Record and Industry Experience
Once you identify potential strategic partners, it is essential to research their track record and industry experience thoroughly. Their credibility in the community will reflect on yours, so be sure to look for partners who have a successful and reputable track record of providing quality services or products to businesses similar to yours. Partners with industry experience will know the challenges, trends, and solutions specific to yours, and they can also help find new customers and valuable relationships with other companies and vendors.
Evaluate Financial Stability and Resources
One of the final but equally critical factors to consider is a prospective partner’s financial stability and resources. Strategic partnerships can require significant investments, so ensuring your partner has the necessary financial resources can make or break the success of the relationship. Review potential partners’ financial statements, capital investments, and revenue streams, as well as, assess their operational capabilities, technological capabilities, and staff qualifications for feasibility to meet combined goals.
Set Forward a Contract
Finally, formalizing contracts with potential strategic partners is crucial. Contracts should outline the terms and conditions of the partnership agreement, such as defining the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of each party. Contracts should also include any legal issues or limitations that could impact the relationship. A well-written contractual agreement should be signed by both parties before beginning (and our strategic partner Tonkin Torp can help you with that!).
At Opportunity Knocks, we know that successful strategic partners are essential for the success of organizations. It is crucial to take time and consider many factors that will influence the success of a partnership such as whether the alliance can help you achieve your business goals, increase revenue, or create competitive advantage in the market. By taking the time to select the right partners and formally establishing agreements, you can create a long-lasting and profitable partnership that makes sense, is reciprocal, and helps obtain your business objectives.
After all, we want our members to trust our partners as much as we do!