What would be your strategic alliance match made in heaven? If you were a restaurant owner, it may be a food truck owner? Why? A restaurant owner may allow the food truck workers to prep their meals in their kitchen when the restaurant is closed. In return, the food truck owner may agree to offer premium advertising real estate on their truck to the restaurant. Quid pro quo at its finest.
However, for some industries, finding and structuring the right strategic alliance is not always easy or even possible. The objective of this discussion is to help small business owners understand the importance of strategic alliances and their potential benefits and challenges, based on our business plan writer’s experiences and research.
What is a strategic alliance?
A strategic alliance is when two or more businesses work together for their mutual benefit. In some instances, small business owners have formed strategic alliances utilizing complementary industries. To illustrate, a used car dealer may form a strategic alliance with a local mechanic. In this alliance, the car dealer may use the mechanic exclusively when diagnosing and repairing their used car inventory. In return, the mechanic may refer customers to the used car dealer when their vehicles can no longer be repaired or when the customer cannot afford the needed repairs.
Benefits and Challenges in strategic alliances.
Quality Business Plan has found that there are numerous benefits to be found when utilizing strategic alliances. A common benefit is reduced advertising. When business owners offering complimentary services join a strategic alliance, referrals between the two entities often allows both companies to reduce their advertising budgets.
A second noted benefit may be improved brand recognition. In some instances, strategic alliance partners may allow for free advertising space within or on their company property. An excellent example of this would be a pest control service and lawn care service allowing each organization to place truck magnets with referral information on their vehicles. This practice allows for double the exposure for both entities.
Unfortunately, strategic alliances are not always all smiley faces and lollipops. A common issue that arises within strategic alliances the lack of exceptional service. In some instances, a strategic partner may fail to offer world-class service to a referral. Not only does this damage reputation of the company reassuring the person with this also damages the brand recognition of the referred party. With this said, make sure to always do diligent research when considering a strategic partnership.
In summary, strategic alliances are often formed between two or more businesses offering complimentary products or services. These alliances offer business owners a multitude of benefits, such as reduced costs and increased revenues. However, there are challenges when forming these types of alliances. Watch out for partners offering poor service.
Author: Paul Borosky, Doctoral Candidate, MBA., Author