Six Key Areas For Evaluating A Strategic Alliance
Strategic alliances are increasing at a rapid rate. It is good for business, good for the consumer. A strategic alliance is similar to a joint venture. Everyone remains in his or her own entity, yet come together for a single purpose or period of time to create something that could not otherwise be created.
There are cautions and rightly concerns one must consider before entering into a strategic alliance with other people. For instance, evaluating each partner’s value and capabilities for alliance is mandatory before agreeing to an alliance. The who, what, when, where and whys all need clarification with failsafe boundaries.
There are many considerations when developing a strategic alliance, here are six main areas along with questions that you will want to answer to help you determine your own readiness for an alliance.
1. Assessing contributions. What do you or each partner bring to the alliance? What is each person’s purpose and goals?
2. Agreeing to the terms. This has three parts: (1) area of interest, (2) net benefits, and (3) joint operations. What interest is yours and what is theirs. Strategic interests must be similar and materials or services comparable. Economic interest must have enough benefits for each to remain committed and minimize trade. There must an operational agreement.
3. Agreement on task and skills. Who is the apprentice on what? Who will be name master on what? Who is going to specifically be responsible to complete what task? Who is going to learn what? What is the division of duties?
4. Defining and measuring progress. Who is going to define or handle sales? What target market will be pursued and when? What is the process chart for a new product or service? How will the revenue be generated and distributed? What will occur if the measurements aren’t met?
5. Progress and time. Who is tracing the progress and the time invested? Is the time to be contributed equal or is there a trade-off for other resources? Who and when will the progress reports be regularly discussed and completed? Is there going to be a board that will monitor equality and fairness?
6. Points of tension. When there are points of tension, and there always is so don’t kid yourself that there never will be, is an outside source going to be the arbitrator? When tension occurs does it need to be expressed in writing first and then discussed? Is there a cool-down period that is required? Who is going to sign off on checks, balance the checkbook, and monitor cash flow?
So many questions, so little time. Yes, I understand, however, this one time you want to stop and open time, address these questions, and any others might need to be addressed.
Copyright 2004, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.
Catherine is a veteran entrepreneur and communications
master coach. Additional articles, newsletters, workshops,
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