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Valuing business partners

Do you have any partners in your business? I don’t mean a partnership business structure but partners for the business itself, such as a designer, writer or accountant.

I was reading recently about strategic partners often being chosen on price and too quickly. The article went on with “The diligent selection of long-term strategic partners is key to enabling the globally integrated supply chain and helps mitigate the risk of IP theft.”

A true partner (rather than just a supplier you use once for a quick fix) can be a valuable asset to your business and save you a lot of time. So I agree that choosing quickly and without care is not a good plan.

A valuable partner (compared to a any old supplier) can

  • move onto projects quickly and with less fuss because they know your business and the guidelines (for example a designer already knows your corporate colours and brand) – this saves you time
  • use their expertise to help your business as they are in a position to make suggestions
  • be cheaper because they already understand your business and need less time to research and get the basics in place (for example, if I know your business I can write a media release straight away rather than spending time learning what you do)
  • be trusted from experience so you can slowly entrust more complex projects and details
  • have common references which can again save time and ensure clear communications (for example, telling a trainer you want the same format as last time but in a different office rather than explaining your full content needs)
  • reduce the need to keep getting quotes to compare – even if it costs a little more to use a partner on certain projects, that cost is usually saved by avoiding this search/recruitment/retraining phase
  • reduce the number of businesses you have to deal with – this saves time in contacts and accounts and reduces risk (dealing with unscrupulous people, intellectual property or other theft, etc)

I certainly appreciate my business partners – not only do they do great work for me but I can trust them to do so with minimal input from me and maximum expertise from them. So I will take this opportunity to publicly and wholeheartedly thank Ally, Jane (who doesn’t have a website), Michelle and Eva.

Have you thought about where your business would be without those partners?

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