Is This Strategic Alliance Worth It?

By Nina Kaufman, Esq.

I was just contacted by a company to explore “partnering” with them.  I don’t know the company very well — they know someone I know, so it’s a 2-degrees-of-separation network.  And while they come recommended, my time is precious.  I need to be v-e-r-y careful about getting into just any ol’ partnering relationship — whether it involves cross-promotion, affiliate links, or otherwise.  I want to be sure that if I’m going to devote time and effort to building my business with these kinds of relationships that I’m clear about what I want from them.  Otherwise, I can’t effectively evaluate whether the company seeking the partnering is really the right fit . . . and whether that company is bringing value to the relationship.

So it was serendipitous (or, depending on your perspective, the Universe at work) that I should come across Donna Peek’s article, “Evaluating and Selecting a Strategic Partner,” in Home Business Online.  Peek, a global alliance manager at the SAS Institute, and contributor to the Kauffman Foundation eVenturing site, provides an eight-step plan, along with a link to her Partner Proposition Worksheet (see Step 4).  It’s a great outline for me to use when I have that first exploratory call next week!  I’ll let you know how it works out.

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