Companies around the country are looking for new ways to build partnerships, improve their brand, grow their community and increase revenue. For all these goals, alliance management is crucial to get the job done. Consultants help to accomplish this task but the value of your product or service is also extremely important. Continue reading
Consider this phrase: Alliance Management. On the surface, it sounds like a good idea, right? You want to carefully maintain your alliances. On the other hand, how exactly does one go about this? By the very nature of the word, you do not control – or entirely manage – those with whom you are allied. They work for another company with different management, different goals and different products.
How can you make this work, then? Continue reading
It’s official. The public’s buying behavior has changed. Every major marketing firm on Madison Avenue now has an Internet Marketing division; and many experts believe online marketing is even more powerful than TV, Radio and Print marketing is for many products and services. Everyone from grandpa to toddlers is becoming more tech savvy; and consumers are making buying decisions based on social and environmental responsibility.
What do You Do?
Well, totally changing your business model is out of the question for a multitude of reasons. However, a new joint venture can quickly gain you access to new customers, more capital, more technological resources; and give you more credibility in the modern marketplace. Continue reading
Although many businesses focus on outperforming competitors by taking advantage of their competitive advantages, many would actually benefit by forming a strategic alliance and turning their competitor into their business partner. While it may not be the most conventional approach, businesses have figured out that in some situations it’s better to focus on growing the entire market, rather than fight for the largest market share of a small market.
There may be no “I” in team, but there is certainly an “I” in strategic alliance. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, author Rosabeth Moss Kanter explains her “Eight I’s That Make We” concept. The article ironically plays with the well-known phrase and suggests that in order to be successful, a company should actually concentrate on the following “I’s” when in a strategic alliance: Continue reading
Whether you are in accounting, finances, sales, consulting or another service industry, to grow your small business takes creativity. Using strategic business alliances allows you to develop a mutually beneficial relationship to expand your service offerings and increase your brand awareness.
Seek Vendors with a Shared Target Market
It may seem counterproductive to build a relationship with a business that shares your target market. You are not sleeping with the enemy. Continue reading
Strategic alliances are an increasingly common sight in the modern business landscape. A study by Booze-Allen & Hamilton showed 20,000 new alliances formed between 1987 and 1992. One reason for this is the need for brand recognition in a crowded global market and because there have been many success stories of strategic alliances that have helped companies take off. Academics talk of the effectiveness of alliances in terms of game theory, these real life examples are a testament to the success of such a bold business move.
Starbucks and Barnes & Noble
The coffee house and the bookstore. Continue reading
Sometimes it’s difficult not to think of those who work in sales as anything more than the slick late night used car sales people from days gone by. However, much has changed over the last 30 years, especially when it comes to sales strategies.
Heading into 2013 it’s critical for your sales team to understand what factors Continue reading
Sales is a very tough gig. When most people think of sales, they imagine someone who has a “silver tongue” or who is simply good at slick talking people. To be honest, that is not an accurate assumption of what it takes to be successful.
Many business owners leave the future of their business in the hands of their sales staff without really knowing how to train them or what to look for in qualified candidates during the hiring process. So what happens is they end up hiring someone who ends up costing them money rather than making them money? Continue reading
You may have heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know but who you know.” In most cases that applies to the business world. Developing partnerships and networking to broaden your people base is one important component of being successful in your business. It is defined by whom you know. This is never more true than when building relationships.
As a small business owner, you may ask yourself why tracking sales is important. You know the products that you offer, you know your budget, and your books balance at the end of every month. Why do you need to make the effort or invest in some type of software that will allow you to track your sales? This article will discuss the importance of that and more.
Selling Products Continue reading
Sustaining strategic alliances for success requires short-term planning and planning over the long-term. You need to determine how to best use your available resources to ensure you have the infrastructure in place. An article posted on the Financial Post talks about building and maintaining strategic alliances.
“As companies enter into an array of alliances, the potential for achieving benefits can increase dramatically.”
A portfolio of alliances Continue reading
When it comes to their growth strategy, most entrepreneurs have some variation on the same theme: produce a good or service, market it, and supply that good or service to as many people in as big of a geographical area as possible. It’s called organic growth, and it’s a great strategy–but it also has its limits. There is a point in the lifecycle of every business where the company has three choices for continued growth: build, borrow, or buy. A new book out Continue reading
Chances are the answer to the above question is easy: we all do. However, what exactly is the benefit of having a business collaborator? Many of us just don’t like other people getting involved in our own business. Too many people having a say in how a business is run can slow efficiency and even detract from business quality. This does not include any personal frustrations from working with people with whom we simply do not like. But small business collaboration brings advantages to the table that make it worth the trouble. That’s why it’s so important to choose your business collaborators carefully.
A business collaboration is a relationship two or more businesses have with one another that benefit all involved. Continue reading
Whenever you go into a sales meeting, you are on the spot. Your goal is to explain why your prospect should use your company’s product (or service). The best way to convince them is through demonstration.
Demonstrating what your product can do for them is a great sales strategy. However, it’s even better if you can demonstrate how your product will fix this customer’s current problem. What is the pain that the customer is experiencing?
Defining the Customer’s Problem
Your goal is to help your customer. Your product must fulfill a need. Hopefully, this need has previously gone unfulfilled. But what exactly is that need and how will your product help? Continue reading
You’re a talented and innovative thinker planning to launch a ground-floor venture. Should you go it alone or bring in a business partner?
As we mentioned in our earlier blog, “Is it Too Much to Ask for the Perfect Business Partner?” a number of business pairings throughout the years have turned into great successes. Primarily because of the skills and traits each partner brought to the pair. However, a lot had to do with the actual relationship between the individuals involved.
Not Everyone Should Be Your Partner
This seems like an obvious statement. However, Continue reading
When developing a new product or service, one of the first things to consider is how to get it to the end-user. Deciding on what channels of distribution to use is a very important business decision that must be made correctly. Using the wrong channels of distribution costs you money and depletes the value of your product.
1) How does the end-user want to buy?
To answer this, you’ll need to understand your customers and your relationship to them. How does your customer prefer to buy this product? Will they need customization or regular service? Maybe your customer needs other products or services to be able to use your product. Continue reading
It’s hard to imagine peanut butter’s success without jelly and vice versa. Without the unique qualities of both these elements, the PB&J would have its anonymity. Like this staple sandwich, so many businesses are also making successful names for themselves through their wise joint ventures with other companies.
Choosing just the right partner, however, is just as important as selecting that special someone in your personal life. If you don’t find a genuine, natural fit, it could be disastrous to both your companies.
Your small business exists because it has a product or service to sell. However, you can’t have a sale if you don’t have a buyer. And you can’t have a buyer if you don’t successfully generate and track sales leads.
What Exactly is a Sales Lead?
In general, a sales lead is a potential customer who previously indicated an interest in your product or service. They are not a customer…yet. Your job (or that of your sales reps) is to sway that individual or business so that they become your customer.
Seems like an easy enough task. Continue reading
When you first opened your doors for business, you were probably excited about the opportunity ahead. You had researched the market, talked to advisors, investigated financing, and made your dream come true.