As you probably already know, I’m pretty darn passionate about helping entrepreneurs create savvy Strategic Alliances with other professionals (a.k.a. JV Partnerships). Why? Because it is one of the fastest and most sustainable ways to grow your business. Period. And it is also one of the great joys of doing business when you do it well. Let’s face it, a lot of us became entrepreneurs because we have independent spirits. But the reality is that it is far more fun and effective to collaborate with other like minded people to get our work out in the world.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs don’t do a great job at picking the right partners and so they end up thinking that either strategic alliances are just too hard or not worth the time and energy it takes to build a strong one. And there is some truth there – when you don’t pick the right partner, you may get your need for collaboration met that we all crave as solopreneurs but not make any financial gain by working together, or even worse, you end up being in conflict with your partner and/or end up compromising what you want and need in order for it to work. Regardless, you are not getting the return on your time, energy and, often, money when you try to collaborate with the wrong partner, so that is why I developed The 6 C’s to Choosing The Right Partner and I am thrilled to be sharing them with you!
The first C is “Client” – this means you share an ideal client and want to work with the same type of people. To be clear here, it isn’t “oh I could work with those clients” because we know there are many people that could value our work. This means that they work with the exact type of clients you work with or want to work with. Strategic Alliances rarely flourish or have any longevity unless your ideal client is the same. So remember to make sure your Clients are the same.
The second C is “Complement” – this means your work compliments the other but does not directly compete. As an example, if you are a business coach, complimentary people may be a web designer, a copywriter, someone who works on money blocks, a social media expert. In all these cases, your work not only compliments each other, but you often help the other professional and your client be more successful through your collaboration. It’s like 1+1 equaling 3 or 4 instead of 2. You get a ton of leverage when you work with other professionals that Complement your work and vice-versa.
The third C is Currency – what I mean by that is that there is a financial gain by working with each other. It can either be direct when actual dollars that come into your bank account, or it can be what I call invisible currency when you end up being more successful by working with each other. Ultimately, if both of you aren’t getting more success by partnering with each other, you shouldn’t collaborate, so Currency is key.
The 4th C is Compatible – and this means that you have a shared philosophy in how you work, how you see the niche you work within, and you stand behind each other’s approach to their work 100%. If you like or agree with some of what they do, but not all of it, they wouldn’t be a Compatible partner.
The 5th C is Character – this means that you can trust this person. They seem to have high integrity and you believe they have the best of intent and want you to be successful as much as they want themselves to be successful. Character is absolutely essential.
And last but certainly not least, the 6th C is “Click” – and that means you just feel a good connection with the person and that it comes easily and naturally. It is not forced. Often people choose partners just for this which can be short sighted without the other 5 C’s. But without “click” it won’t be a really joyous experience and so Click is just as vital as all the other “C”s.
So there you have them! Remember that each one of these is critical to building powerful strategic alliances that will bring more joy and prosperity to your business. So now you have criteria and a filter to help you choose powerful Strategic Alliances. But to make it even easier, I’d now like to offer you a free gift of a Strategic Alliance Exploratory Interview Guide to help guide your first conversation with a potential strategic alliance. With these two tools it will be easy for you to make a choice that is either a powerful “yes” or a powerful “no”.