How can i make strategic alliance witth companies as their IT partner and become a service provider for a long time?
I am a business development managerof an IT company. We operate from India. We have services like , web development, web application development, designing, E-Learning and school management application as a product. I would like to develop my business area world wide. How can i find the right person to take my business worldwide.
The answer to this question can be quite long. Actually I wrote a 45 page ebook to answer the question on partner selection and create strategic partnerships. But my top 3 tips for this question would be:
1) Define a clear value proposition for the partnership, what is in it for you and your partner and how will the final customer benefit?
2) Approach it step by step and build it as such. Going worldwide will be the result of a solid process and foundation
3) Look for the low hanging fruit; what country would be the ideal starting country to expand to, with the highest return on your efforts?
It always come down to showing the value of your services versus others in the market. Also demonstrating that you can provide superior service to those customers will go a long way. Solid future planning will be needed to do this, and typically the more traction you gain with customers, the more likely you can target those that can help globalize your brand. Those being more companies that are multinational.
Dilip - there are many market-entry consultants and sourcing advisors that you should probably start speaking with depending on which countries/geographies you want to target. As you've probably heard from others, this is a super-competitive and, in many ways, a commoditising market and some of the services like web and app dev/design are available from hundreds of others so you have to answer the questions: 1) why You & what is your USP?; 2) what kind of partners: rainmakers/consultants or other IT firms with complementary skills or domain expert firms, say in education...
First, develop a strong business model by:
- Reading up on the language used by potential clients
- Keeping track of their most important needs and challenges
- Looking at your own strengths and interests that meet those needs
- Identifying what you do that may address unanticipated needs
- Determining your own costs in meeting needs that most advance client goals
Once you have the business model, offer some of your most valuable services for free. Figure out what you can afford to "give away".
Keep a list of reasonable service upgrades related to your strengths and interests. Revisit and add to these on an ongoing basis.
Keep track of your observations and lessons learned. Analyze everything and revisit your model in terms of its successes and other lessons learned.
One a different note: I believe you meant to list e-learning in your keywords. If so, it needs an edit.
Dilip: You will have a successful long term partnership only if your affiliation will result in more business for your partner or for the combination. Your technical competency will be inadequate to sustain the relationship.
Regarding international expansion, no one will "take" your business into new markets. You may find someone to provide key introductions but you are the asset and must often be front and center in the market. As others have said, be sure of your value proposition with an offering that has little or no competition.
Some of the best 3rd party providers are not just building the basic services as you describe but also the way for their target prospects to take their services to market. If you can build a toolset for selling your services that the client can then use, including educating them on the end products, services and teach them "how to sell", you will have the Business-in-a-Box these entrepreneurs are looking for.
Tarun has an important insight: "There are too many service providers attempting to do what you are trying to accomplish."
I get emails everyday from Indian companies. They are very generic and do not give me much reason to even do research. Suggestions:
1) Make sure your solicitations give your website (only 1 in 20 I get do this) and add links to other sites you've created
2) Do your homework - my old website was always in the top 5 on Google's first page... yet emails asked me if I wanted to be on the first page. Take a rifle approach instead of a shotgun.
3) You may have to offer free service to get in the door of an American company unfortunately. Once you get in a door and provide outstanding service, do not be bashful about asking for help to find others you can provide the same outstanding service for.
4) You might want to try a Premium LinkedIn account. Use it to find IT firms that do not offer your exact services.
5) Make sure someone on your staff speaks excellent English and does not have too thick of an Indian accent. Make him/her your main contact person.
I hope this helps. Best, Steve
That's what I do. My company is a strategic partner to more than a couple of companies. The secret is that you should provide a solution that others don't provide which will make it easier for your potential partner to choose you over others.
Today, there's a talent battle so it's fairly easy to find small IT solutions providers and marketing firms looking for IT talent so they can take on bigger projects.
Post on local business groups to find them.
The challenge is that there are thousands of Indian IT outsourcing competitors so you need to develop a solid business development and marketing plan, not just hunt-and-peck.
There are too many service providers attempting to do what you are trying to accomplish. All the services that you have listed above are abundantly available in the market. Having said that, before taking the major steps of creating strategic alliance with any company, you need to conduct a thorough strategic/ business planning for your own company. First ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my niche products and services? What are my strengths?
- Where do I need to develop myself in terms of products and services? What are my opportunity areas?
- Who are my biggest competitors? How do I differentiate myself from them? It could be anything - huge price advantage, superior customer service, excellent user-friendly product(s), high speed-to-market, excellent product quality, etc.
- Where are my biggest opportunities? Is there a specific area that no one has addressed or not tapped into yet.
In order to achieve your goal, please ensure to spend 80% of time in strategic planning / business strategy now. Your approach should be clear and precise. Once you have the relevant answers and master business strategy/plan, execute your plan methodically. It takes adequate time, huge patience and meticulous planning to build a business, particularly a global one. Good luck!