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Global Edge defines a strategic alliance as a "partnership between the two companies to achieve a strategic objective." Traditionally, strategic alliances between large corporations and include formal agreements such as international licensing agreements, management contracts and joint ventures "- But companies are increasingly smaller and less formal support to form partnerships that own. What are the advantages of strategic alliances for small businesses? As a small business owner, how you can reach to begin talks with potential allies and what to look for in a strategic partner?

Resource Sharing

Strategic alliances offer an opportunity to pool resources and share. Many Small businesses have to operate in a limited capital resource framework – both from the standpoint of economic and intellectual. The shortage of cash and certain types of skills, is difficult to build your small business.

"Strategic alliances are very useful for small business owners – Many times, owners Small businesses have limited resources, is one of those human power, the other is money. "Karp said Ross, president and founder of the chapter of my Inc. Networking Group of New York "By forming a strategic alliance with partners to exchange ideas outside help after the customers you're marketing. Karp added that strategic alliances help small businesses develop or gain access to different skills. "We all have different skills that complement each other. By working with our strengths and help we have with our weaknesses, we can maximize our time and energy. "

Eric King, Vice President Business Services Credit Union Delta Community in Atlanta, Georgia, also believes that the type of strategic alliance can benefit a small company. "Strategic alliances can be very beneficial – especially if the associations are based on core competencies and free culture. The concept of participation in spending, particularly in the startup mode can be a tool for managing the balance sheet. "

Expanded Service Offering

The Small Enterprises can also use strategic alliances to expand their service offerings. Establish strategic alliances with (mind as) suppliers who share the same target market and offer products / services that complement your brand can help your small business thrive. For my small business, which uses strategic partnerships to offer its customers access to a wide variety of providers of services related to marketing – to become a conduit of "best market "talent of my clients has helped my small company to develop a proposal for a compelling value.

Advantages

Addition to share resources and expanded services, strategic alliances with small companies have a number of other benefits. "Companies that are geographically near (and in a target market) can combine their resources to increase its advertising efforts, "says Hilary Hamblin, marketing and advertising in Florence, Alabama." They can share information database or mail the information to two or more mailing lists instead of one. Companies can refer clients to other companies alliance, and even get discounts for bulk purchases on certain products. "Guy Timberlake, CEO and chief visionary of the U.S. Small Business Coalition (The ASBC) in Washington, DC, added: "access to competitive intelligence" and access to potential customers that two other potential benefits associated with strategic alliances for small businesses.

Tomascak Marci, a public relations and communications business in New York, tells a story which highlights another advantage – the opportunity to participate in co-marketing programs. "I was in a well known bridal shop to pick up a catalog for research purposes. While I was there the "greeters" at the front of the store and we talked a little boyfriend. Before leaving the store, catalog in hand, also gave me an intuition razor. It was a great partnership where there is no competition. Not only the store has a big wedding to give prospective brides and wedding parties, but the company shaving people to test new products. "

Getting Started

How can you begin the process of creating strategic alliances? In my experience, the best way to reach potential strategic partners is to initiate the network. As in search of other small businesses in my area market immediately and try to find products or services that complement our brand and offer solutions to my clients. In a next step, which usually send an introductory e-mail describing how our small businesses could benefit from working together. What really works for me is a chance encounter with a coffee – I seem to know people face to face in a non-commercial is a great way to find them quickly if you can not consider working together.

Ross Karp agrees that training network of partnerships that work best. He also believes it is important to understand your own target market and establish what services (offered by potential allies) complement its range of products / services. "For example, a realtor could be associated with a mortgage broker, attorney, insurance planners, etc., "says Karp.

Things to consider before you form an Alliance

An important component of a trade agreement, either formal or informal, is conducting due diligence. "As the level of effort required to effectively and efficiently, new businesses, the same research and control should be used when trying to establish partnerships, "says Guy Timberlake of The ASBC." In short, consider the business case for the development and use of that relationship. "

Eric King also suggests looking to see "how society affects the combined market share. Is there any overlap target markets? Overlap mutually beneficial? If any part of the alliance to gain more than the other? "