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Growing with Strategic Networks and Partnerships

By Sonjui Kumar Email By Sonjui  Kumar
July 2022
Growing with Strategic Networks and Partnerships

One of my favorite business axioms is harsh but powerful: “If you are not growing, you are dying.” As anyone running a business will agree, expansion can be time-consuming and use up resources that you may not be ready to expend. So, it may be worth considering some well-established, but often underutilized, ways to grow your brand and boost growth.

Referral Networks and Industry Portals

Referral networks are a great way to stay connected with people in your industry and can provide a fast way to expand your customer base. Becoming a familiar name in these networks can result in being the right connection for anyone who needs someone in your field, industry, or geography. It is vital to stay well connected to create mutually beneficial relationships. It’s also important to be a trustworthy participant once you are on the receiving end of a referral by meeting promised timelines and deliverables, and keeping the people who have referred you informed. Existing clients should also be incentivized to refer new prospects as a way to expand your pipeline. Make sure to keep your contact information, services/ products, locations, etc. up-to-date and relevant in the forums in which you are participating.

Trade Associations and Conferences

It can be time consuming, but ensuring that key employees participate in trade associations and attend conferences is one of the best ways to stay current with business trends and your competitors. Technology and employee benefits are just two of the areas where companies can be overtaken if they are not engaged with what’s going on in the marketplace. Although it may seem counterintuitive, but being an active contributor in your business community can also result in you being the beneficiary of information and practices that can enhance your company and products. Hosting, sponsoring, or just attending events is a great way to keep up with others in your field and may lead to meaningful professional relationships and referrals.

Distributorships and Resellers

Sales is one of the most challenging aspects of running a company especially developing and maintaining a robust pipeline of business. Establishing a network of distributors and resellers can be an effective strategy for any enterprise that lacks the time and money to sell products and services widely. Although distributors and resellers will be paid a portion of the revenues, the increase in total sales should more than offset the cost and allow you to leverage the skills and infrastructure of other organizations.

Partnerships and Joint Ventures

Another way to leverage resources is to pursue partnerships and joint ventures with other companies that enhance or complement your business. Examples of successful partnership arrangements include hardware manufacturers working with a software company that runs on their machine, or technology companies working with an application developer to implement their program at customer sites. Joint ventures are used for more established and long-term commitments, but can be used to effectively target a particular market or address an outstanding need that requires the services of more than one company.

Teaming Arrangements

Teaming arrangements are a type of partnership agreement between the companies to combine their capabilities and resources to bid for potential work. These arrangements can be for one particular solicitation for a period of time allowing parties to decide if they want to have an exclusive relationship or come together only as needed. In either case, it gives companies a way to increase their pool of customers and diversify their services.

While sustained business growth can be an expensive undertaking for owners and management, there are ways to utilize partners, peers, and even competitors to help in that process.



Business Insights is hosted by the Law Firm of KPPB Law (www. kppblaw.com) based in Atlanta. GA with additional offices in New York, Northern Virginia, and Houston, TX. Sonjui L. Kumar is a corporate transactional lawyer representing companies in all aspects of business law, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and cross-border transactions. She is a founding partner of KPPB Law. She can be reached via email at skumar@kppblaw.com.

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