We hear the phrases Build\Buy or Partner. When you are limited with money and resources the latter always seems to be the case. Or should it be? Bad partnerships or not setting up the proper partnership are easily one of the fastest ways to burn resources and potentially sour a customer relationship as any.
In the previous sections, we talked a little about market research and go to market strategies as well as in other articles (Links to other articles here), and it’s easy to think that the best answer to get to a market and support a customer is to partner with someone to provide a solution to a customer. There are many cases where this strategy is the wrong strategy. If you see a gap in your solution and you have done the market research even if takes you time to build an MVP (Minimally Viable Product) trying to support and manage a solution from another provider is very difficult to do successfully at this stage of an organization.
Partnerships make sense where the long term mutual benefit is tied to an area that you do not plan on ever providing to your customers and you are willing to work with another organization to provide the solution to the customers.
There are many types of partnerships and the most difficult to maintain support as a small, growth stage organizations is a reseller and/or service provider to another organization unless that provider is working with you to expand on your current market or a market closely related to how you do business today.
Support for a product not in your core area will most often require specialized resources to assist your customers. These resources can and will be unfocused on your core mission and strategies because they are focused on a product other than your own. Your team can be put in difficult situations to support these customer needs and expectations as they may be different than your own.
Additionally, sales of these tools do require special training and sales approaches that are typically against your core strategy. Items such as compensation and process can be counter-intuitive to your normal business. Depending on the type of partner and their size they may not be able to support you in the way you will need to be successful. This can also put a strain on the business when your customers have expectations on how you’ worked with them in the past with your own products and potential install and product look and feels that no longer provide that seamless experience for your customers.
Good well thought out partnerships can be great for your business. They can drive significant revenue and opportunity for your business. We will cover more about building partnerships in future posts.
Last modified: June 11, 2019