My energy comes from other people, so the connections I make around my business are highly important. One often thinks of strategic alliances as a tool of manipulation. It assumes that we align ourselves or businesses with certain people purely for tools or power. I treat strategic alliances as deeper relationships that need to fit with both my core values and my professional goals.
At each point of developing a business, you need different things.
- Beginnings: on-boarding strangers to understand and get excited about your idea. These people’s tools only matter to a small extent, because the excitement behind them is more important
- Established: the people you align with your business begin to fill needs. You may need to find a CPA or a lawyer who has interest in what you are doing
- Growing: you need to admit that there are some things you cannot do yourself. It is time to trust someone who is an expert in that area, and invite him or her into your circle of strategic alliances
Throughout all of these processes, we must keep in mind the key element that can easily break the connection made – trust. There is a world of difference between the person who is great at his job, shares an interest and passion for your business, and has mutual trust with you; and the person who is the best in his industry, sort of understands what the driver is behind your business and is questionably trusted.