What attributes do you look for in a partner company?
If you ever wanted to partner with another existing company or organization, what do you look for, so that you can make a decision to partner with them?
I like this question. I don't believe we address this topic enough. The best partners are companies that extend or offer capabilities that you find lacking in your own company. The inverse is true as well, your partner should view your products or services as critical to achieving success in some niche or overall in the marketplace. I would look for a company that openly espouses collaboration in their core values. Their reputation is also very important since they may become your face to your customers. Their reputation should reflect your own or what you want your reputation to be in the marketplace.
Thanks for asking.
A fruitful partnership is one where both partners contribute to the success of the partnership and also where both partners benefit. A key question to ask before entering any business partnership is 'if the partnership didn't exist, can a similar result be accomplished?' If there is definitely added value to be generated, then a partnership is something that should be pursued.
To determine the desired characteristics for a partner, establish the goals or objectives of the partnership. There are numerous reasons to partner: increase sales channels, add technical capabilities, ramp up for manufacturing, outsource back-end services, and on and on. In addition to what the partner brings as a complementary function to the partnership, the partner should also be respectable (check with their existing partners, look for feedback within the industry, etc.), financially sound (this could be difficult to gauge if the partner is private, but you should be able to at least get a credit rating on them), and have a history of partnering.
They have a proven track record of caring about their product / service offering. They go above and beyond to help the client. Often times they win awards for best in class service. Very important in my business to offer a very SAFE ecosystem of vendors for my clients to chose from and I posted them on my website.
Synergy: In product or service, financial, talent, expertise, etc. the goal is to make 1+1=3+. Critical that there is mutual respect, honesty and that the cultures won't clash!
What does a potential partner bring to the table--this is something you want to clearly define before heading to any biz dev meetings--what is your return on investment? I mean, build versus partner, what makes more sense for your business plan?
Strategic reason for them to partner/ Desire to partner
Top management relationship
Complementary Skill Sets & Competencies
Access/ relationship to the target market
Market Track Record and Reputation
Hope this helps.