How Partnerships Benefit Your Business

It’s often been said that success depends not on what you know, but on who you know. We see evidence of that every day, when people land unadvertised jobs thanks to their connections, or find the exact product or service they need thanks to a recommendation from a contact. Perhaps nowhere does the idea of “it’s all who you know” apply more than when you are a small technology reseller trying to compete on a crowded playing field.

In fact, one of the reasons that small businesses often struggle is that they don’t have the same resources as the “big guys.” Larger businesses larger budgets, but they also generally have relationships with other companies that help them access additional resources — and customers. It may sound counterintuitive to partner with other businesses when you’re trying to grow your own, but in fact, establishing partnerships with others can help you make more money online.

Not only will partnerships with bloggers and other media get more attention for your product, but working with more experienced businesses in your industry can help your businessactually reach its potential — especially when it comes to being a technology reseller.

Partnering for Success

As a small business, you may feel like you can’t do it all and provide your customers with everything they need. For example, as a technology reseller, you may be able to help your customers design the computer networks they need, but you don’t have the resources to help them maintain them should a problem arise. Or perhaps you need a little extra assistance with the sales and marketing of your technology products. Whatever the case, if you can’t fulfill your customers’ needs, they will find someone else who can.

That’s where partnerships can come in. When you establish relationships with other online business, you both gain extra muscle that allows you to grow. Businesses that become a Cisco Partner, for example, have unparalleled access to resources that can help them grow and flourish. Businesses that partner with others offering related services can work together to develop cooperative marketing plans and promotions that benefit everyone. Regardless of who you partner with, you can expect certain benefits from the relationship when it’s the right partner.

• An Experienced and Skilled Resource. Ideally, both partners bring something to the table, but as a small reseller partnering with a larger company, you gain access to a larger pool of experience that helps you elevate your services, and allows you to better understand the technology and how it benefits your customers.
• Insight Into Market Trends. Staying ahead of the curve is vital, and working with a partner allows you to remain in step with market trends and gain insight that you may not have otherwise. Partners share their ideas and interpretations, and sometimes just having someone else to bounce ideas off of and gain more understanding helps you market your business more effectively and serve your customers better.
• Cost Savings. When you work with partners, you may be able to realize some cost savings on your marketing and technology needs, not only through efficient network design but also through loyalty programs, competitive pricing, and partner discounts.
• Additional Marketing Dollars. One common benefit of partnerships is co-op funds, in which a small business can access money to use for marketing and promotion from the larger company. These funds often come from larger companies, but when you’re an affiliate or partner, you don’t always have to invest your own money into marketing.
• Expanded Market. With the support of a partner, your business can often grow into new markets or new verticals, thanks to your expanded array of services and knowledge, not to mention the ability to reach a wider audience with your message. Establishing relationships with influencers, for example, makes them a partner in your business, as they will share information with their networks and bring new business your way.
• Improved Branding. Not only will the improved services you offer with the support of a partner improve your brand, but in many case, your partnership itself helps support your brand. Partners lend each other credibility – the right partner can almost serve as a “seal of approval” on your business.
• Increased Profits. When you are able to provide low-cost, high-value services to your customers, everyone wins.

Looking to the Future

As an online business, you need to be constantly looking to the future and the role that IT partnerships play in business development. One study by the Babson School of Businessrevealed that as many as 40 percent of current enterprises will not exist 10 years from now, and in light of that, many companies are looking to IT as the source of innovation that will ensure their survival — and in turn, those leaders are looking to their partners, including technology resellers, for help.

Thanks to the support of your partners, you’ll be a better position to learn about these opportunities and become a partner other businesses and help them meet the challenges they face in today’s business climate.

Building a successful business is never easy. What is easy is feeling marooned on an island in a sea of competition, unsure of the best way to grow and improve your company. There’s no need to feel that way. Don’t be afraid to reach out and partner with another company, since the right partnership will give you access to the right “people to know.”

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