No man is an island. No one can ever be self-sufficient, and a symbiotic relationship always exists among members of our society. Although we are all different in our own unique ways, it is with this specific formula of complementing differences that partnerships develop and evolve. In the field of business and accounting, this statement means that as times change and the needs of clients and consumers evolve, the need to strike strategic partnerships should be prioritized as it is the right track to follow.

According to a recent Forbes article, business partnerships of any type have the potential to substantially improve a company's outcomes, including an increase in revenue, the creation of new opportunities, and the stimulation of innovation. These outcomes are prime examples of what can be achieved and the doors that can be opened through simple partnerships. Because once a business takes off and starts to operate, it needs to find new ways to flourish in the domestic business landscape. But once that’s done, what’s next? Considering the current business trends urging companies to transform to remain relevant and successful, considering the idea of partnering or teaming up with other industries should not be far off from every business’ blueprint.

And so, the need to ink agreements with other organizations and stakeholders applies also to business owners keen to expand their footprint outside domestic shores. In today’s global business scene, this adage paints a vivid picture that could guide companies looking at making their first foray into international business undertakings. Consequently, here are a few strategies to consider when trying to establish a strategic partnership.

Look for partnerships with aligned principles and goals

Generally, your business is a reflection of your identity and beliefs, and the idea is that you take care of it as much as you take care of yourself. Logically, we would want to nurture ourselves to our best and healthiest physique, which is why we want our businesses to get the best treatment as well. During partnerships, your business gets opened up to a myriad of external influences, and this can either impact your business negatively or positively. Much like our own bodies, we want someone who is willing to nurture and provide for it as much as we can on ourselves, maybe even greater.

That is why it is extremely important for business owners to carefully and meticulously study who they want to partner up with, because our business is an extension of ourselves. Ideally, you would want someone who is also aligned to the same principles, and goals that you see for your own business. The best partnerships thrive whenever they share a common vision, values, and enthusiasm, because it elevates the connection between the two partners, hence creating a stronger sense of camaraderie and teamwork.

Explore every possible avenue

It goes without saying, but this concept can easily be disregarded by businesses who are openly pursuing partnerships. Being open to multiple avenues or sources of partnerships will give you a better understanding of where you want to position yourself in. If the goal is to find the best possible number of gains while simultaneously finding the lowest possibility of failure, then be ready to explore all options. Sticking to where we are already comfortable is not going to help move our businesses forward. As an example, an article published by Harvard Business Review last year mentioned that even the most successful and popular companies work together, insisting that operating a business is never going to be a solo act. As cited by the report, companies that are working to create the AR/VR/metaverse experience aim to move forward with innovative partnerships, but have been met with difficult circumstances involving mistrust, unclear goals, and general inhibition with knowledge-sharing. But the AR/VR/metaverse businesses must create crucial advancements in optics, hardware, and material technologies if they are to reach their objectives. Hence, the impending need for these companies to prioritize exploring all possible avenues for success in partnerships is a the stakes are high, and to succeed these companies are going to have to get their collaborations right. Now, the report states that Ninety-three percent of the businesses that Meta approached have now entered innovation partnerships, which have helped Meta save almost $100 million in R&D costs and cut the development and launch times of novel materials by more than three years. This type of partnership would not have been possible, if not for the creativity and capacity to open up every possible option available for growth and development and looking past the possibility of failure.

Have your non-negotiables

Knowing what your businesses’ is willing to give up and what to never give up is probably the most important strategy for everyone seeking partnerships. Whatever asset or assets that your business keeps is what defines your business, and that is something that should never be put on the table. It is your trump card that stays in your deck, no matter what. Understanding the difference between the service or goods that you never want to give up and the ones that you are willing to risk helps tremendously in making decisions based on the people that you want to partner up with and will separate your business from all the ones that will only bring yours down.

We are all different, yet so much alike. Though our journey in life depends solely on our individual actions in pursuit of our deepest desires, this journey is never sailed alone. As we continuously strive to be the best version of ourselves and conquering life’s greatest challenges, our different journeys will inevitably interact with each other, one way or another. Hopefully, the abovementioned strategies will help you in seeking the type of partnership that will offer you the best companionship throughout your life journey.


As published in The Manila Times, dated 17 April 2022