The concept of business partnership has constantly evolved during the years and gained various and different new meanings.
In the world of business, a partnership between one or more players can be defined as the integrated process management that occurs when one player either absorbs costs or activities in its work cycle, or shares knowledge and work procedures that are not easily accessible or available to other players, in order to improve the quality of work or its own offering.
The study and the establishment of a commercial partnership between two or more companies has the aim of creating an opportunity of mutual benefit for all the players and must represent a chance of growth for each part.
More value for one player means more value for every player in the partnership.
However, this collaboration must start with the right prerequisites and have a solid foundation, as it is not only a matter of trust, but also of long-term commitment that must be based on reciprocity principles, and most importantly, must be characterized by:
- A common objective that could be generating value, growth and profit;
- Provide knowledge, tools and skills that can allow all players to identify solutions and invest on the creation of value and satisfy needs and necessities of their business;
- Proactivity and well-defined rules.
In the IT industry, for example, companies that decide to become resellers of third-party products or services can obtain remarkable revenues, but they should first value many different factors such as partner’s trustworthiness and economic return, before they enter a partnership agreement.
In order to make a business partnership in the IT sector as long-lasting and effective as possible, it is appropriate to ask oneself:
- Which characteristic should my business partner have?
- What kind of product or service do I want to resell?
- Will I be able to access pre- and post-sales support?
- Which benefits do I gain from this business partnership?
Which characteristics should my business partner have?
Transparency is the fundamental assumption on which the collaboration between the reseller and the creator of the product or service should be based.
A clear partnership program, without grey zones, and a helpful partner who is ready to answer questions and offer support allow to value every other element without risks of misunderstandings.
It is also important to value the reputation and the trustworthiness of the brand one desires to associate with. It is necessary to ask oneself if the name and the logo of the partner’s brand next to their ones will result in a positive sight at the eyes of customers and stakeholders.
Even the level of effort that the partner shows in defining a long-lasting partnership program is a signal of a future profitable partnership possibility.
What king of product or service do I want to resell?
It is in the best interest for both players to provide end customers with high-quality products or services, able to solve problems or streamline processes, but such characteristics have to be certified through tangible documents and data.
Moreover, it is best to take into consideration an important factor that will greatly ease the reselling of a third-party developed technological product: uniqueness. If the solution is sufficiently innovative or has some level of peculiarities that make it more effective than its competitors, reselling it will be easier.
One must always take into consideration all the eventual costs linked to what is being resold, such as maintenance costs or updates that could make profit margins smaller as what was stated in the contract.
Will I be able to access pre and post sales support?
The company committing to reselling a product or service must also have dedicated support from the providing company during every phase, in order to obtain good results and maintain trust from its customers.
At first, a training program is essential to learn every detail of what is being resold. Secondly, updates must be timely provided every time the product or service is being evolved.
During the post-sales phase, support becomes critical in order to promptly solve end users’ potential issues.
Finally, one should not underestimate the role of support for marketing activities that the providing company can guarantee.
Which benefits do I gain from this business partnership?
A partnership program can help the reseller company gain great profit, but benefits are not limited to revenues only.
Collaboration with an IT company can allow the reseller to stay up to date with latest technologies, implement new solutions for staying ahead of competition and communicate with industry experts that can share information on company areas that could benefit from external resources and knowledge.