Edmonton Capital Ideas members were asked what they have learned from partnering with another business. Here’s what they had to say:
Partnering with another business can bring a new audience to your product or service. We’ve health care partners on community initiatives, which has opened the door to elderly clients that could use our financial planning service. What we’ve learned is that to get, you also have to give, so that there is a benefit to both businesses through the partnership.— Desmond Chow, Sr. financial advisor at ATB Investor Services
We took a knowledge-based approach to our strategic alliances. We recognized that a successful alliance is not truly strategic unless it satisfies an underlying business objective/goal. Many of the alliances default to some form of revenue, which is important, but revenue alone is not the only driving force to the objective of our alliances. Our strategic alliances, leverage the expert knowledge of our partners first and foremost, which is the primary objective of our core business goal. By investing together strategically, our alliances play key roles in developing and protecting a competitive advantage.
— Lisa Patrick, founder of CBT Continuing Education
The Philosophy of Business Partnership
“I hold on to the philosophy it’s better to do one thing well rather than many things average. It’s great when like-minded businesses can come together and really enhance each other’s offerings. Not only do you provide better product/service to your customer but you also access a wider audience. For that reason, I’m always on the look out for partnerships that make sense.”—Illarion Shulakewych, CEO of High Stick Vodka
“Having connections to other professionals is an absolute necessity. I frequently refer clients to tax and legal specialists. I love it when I refer a client and the other professional blows the client away with knowledge and service. Clients sleep better when they know that they are working with the best professionals possible and because there is no motive other than helping the client, they appreciate our relationship even more.”— Cary Williams, associate private wealth counsellor at Pavilion Investment House
Alignment and Strength Through Partnership
“Find alignment at the outset. How are you going to provide value to a customer? If both organizations agree on a common goal, it will be easier to resolve disagreements and avoid side-trails later in the partnership. It’s great when a happy resolution is found and someone says “Hey, this is exactly what we agreed to do in the beginning!”— Nathan Smith, marketing manager at Levven Electronics
I’ve learned that together we are strong – we have a bigger impact – we reach more people– we make more money and it’s more fun to partner. Just like pairing wine with cheese, milk with cereal – it creates more options and pleasure for the customers. It also represents an abundance mentality on the part of the partners – which inspires other entrepreneurs to move past fear and scarcity.”— Pat Mussieux, founder and CEO of Pat Mussieux
“Business is like a 3-leg stool. The 3 legs being: your company, your partnerships (and vendor relations) and of course your customers. Each is equally important and required to keep upright.”— Luke Williamson, president of Accurate Networks
These answers were in response to a question posed by Wellington Holbrook. Here’s his take on Business Partnership:
“When an entrepreneur partners with another business, there is usually an immediate business reason. Nonetheless, it is also an excellent opportunity to identify new ideas, new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things. By looking at business processes and strategies differently, it opens up new opportunities to optimize your business. And if there is one thing I know from over 20 years of working with great entrepreneurs, the most successful are always looking for new ways to do just that.”— Wellington Holbrook, Executive Vice-president of ATB Business
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Culled from: Edmonton Journal.