Ironing out the Details of Your New Alliance
Once you have selected a power partner, focus on how you will work together.
Some questions you may want to consider include:
Will you collaborate on an ongoing basis, or for a particular project? Will you form a long term arrangement, or keep the business relationship on a short fuse? Will you collaborate for marketing purposes only, or will you jointly pitch and serve clients? Will you work exclusively with your power partner, or have similar arrangements with others?
Although most people use the term “strategic alliance” to refer to a whole spectrum of collaborative relationships, the term is most apt for arrangements that involve a longer time commitment and more involved responsibilities (especially if: money will be paid, joint clients are developed, and intellectual property is created).
Just like personal relationships, it’s best not to get heavily involved before you’ve had a chance to test the waters.
Strategic alliances work best when they evolve naturally, over time, from successful collaborations . . . which is better than trying to force an alliance into being. Don’t be afraid to start small.
Finally, because the law doesn’t clearly define “strategic alliances,” it’s crucial that the parties to the alliance do.
Whatever you call your relationship with your “power partner,” be sure to put your expectations in writing with a partnership agreement – particularly in situations where money changes hands, intellectual property is created, and you serve clients jointly. When you have a clear understanding in writing, you can forge a powerful and long-lasting alliance with your new power partners!
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Photo: Massimo Dutti