Collaboration or partnership has many benefits, ranging from lower costs to greater reach. The restaurant which structures joint promotions with local playhouses and movie theatres could attract lots of long term customers, with its partners also experiencing sustainable increases in business. However, alliances or joint ventures can also directly or indirectly produce unique problems, as the world is seeing with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. That venture has 50 partners in more than 100 locations around the world and it has encountered serious setbacks such as batteries which catch fire.
In 2010, reports the SUPPLY CHAIN QUARTERLY, McKinsey & Company, Nielsen, and the Grocery Manufactureres Association conducted its annual Customer and Channel Management Survey (CCM). What it found was this: About 80 percent of the companies interviewed used collaboration but only twenty percent indicated that they generated results worth the effort.
In our experience, we at Image Marketing Consultants found that not every professional or organization can successfully partner. Here are 4 questions to ask before deciding to collaborate.
Do you have the necessary expertise? Partnering increases the complexity of any initiative exponentially. No one can enter the situation blind. If you don’t know what you’re doing hire a consultant or an employee who does know the field. Partnerships allow you to enter new territory, but you still need guidance.
Can you identify a partner or partners which can gain as much as you from the venture? You may be interested in increasing sales and your partner in enhancing its brandname. The project must be structured so both can accomplish that without undermining the success potential of the other. When the outcomes aren’t mutually satisfying, trouble starts. That usually takes the form of delays.
Do you and the potential partners have resources for as long as the project might take? Typically, organizations underestimate the time it takes to reach a goal. Therefore, you must have access to more resources than you initially need. Those could range from borrowing power to the ability to keep recruiting volunteers.
How will you measure “success?” You and your partners have to be realistic about, for example, when the venture will be expected to reach “breakeven,” that is, enough revenue coming in to equal or exceed the revenue going out. The metrics have to account for what setbacks can be tolerated. Those might include 20 percent returns on online orders.
Kate Sirignano, founder and head of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on partnerships as well as marketing, public relations, special events, and social media firstname.lastname@example.org 203-404-4868.
Technology has created what’s being called “The Collaboration Economy.” Thought leader Evan Rosen explains in MIT’s TECHNOLOGY REVIEW this game-changing phenomenon.
Instead of operating alone, professionals now are pooling their insight, analysis, and strategies through group emails, wikis, video meetings, conference calls, social networks like Facebook and Google+, commenting on articles, receiving comments on their own blogs, and sharing material with one click. Image Marketing Consultants explains how you as a personal brand and your organization can leverage collaboration to get an edge.
Choose the right partners. The potential obstacle with collaboration is that it tends to consume more time and patience than does working alone. Therefore, you need to ensure there’s a payoff by including in your process only those useful to your objectives. Partners are not created equal.
Be open. Your partners can’t “get” how vital you are to the team unless you disclose your best thinking and hunches about strategy. The risk of collaboration is this openness but the reward can be awesome since research and experience show that joint efforts can generate superior outcomes. That’s why even competitors like BMW and Toyota cooperated in designing the battery for the electric car.
Don’t expect individual recognition. The enemy of superior outcomes from collaborating is the star system. Ego is a throw-back to the 20th century way of doing business. It’s the group effort which counts, not your input. Organizations are overhauling their cultures to recruit, develop, and retain professionals who can be a “we,” instead of a “me.”
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on how you can partner in this changing economy email@example.com, 203-404-4868.
Books still are, as they say, “the price of entry” for service providers to be taken seriously.
Books showcase the author’s expertise in a way which is directly useful to the target markets. In that sense, the book is a public service since it passes on knowledge. Grateful readers, who can do their work better, become the author’s fans. Give a person a fish and that human being eats for a day. Teach that person how to fish and that human being eats for lifetime.
Through book publishing, authors also gain a new edge getting the attention of media, booking agents for the speaking circuit, and influentials.
The good news is that the heads of service firms don’t have to spend a year or more of their professional lives writing the book. Also they don’t have to wait for the tedious print publishing process to produce the book. Given that usual time lag, the content may be out of date by time the book is distributed to clients, prospects, and the others on the firm’s network.
E-books, which can be a short as 25 or 35 pages, can be written or ghostwritten in days, designed and published on a computer, and copyrighted for a small fee through the Library of Congress. They can be free or a price assigned. One mode of distribution can be through downloads on the author’s website, blog, Facebook fan page, Google+, and Twitter account. When delivering talks and participating in panels, the author can mention the URL or have print copies on hand.
Promotion can be done in just the same ways print books are. In addition, reviewers no longer differentiate between print and e-books. A fast way out of the gate is to produce video trailers and video interviews which can be posted on YouTube, sent to media, and attached on digital communications.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultations on Marketing, Partnerships, Advertising, Public Relations, Social Media, and Special Events firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868