Find Your Partner

Pre-Alliance Counseling

Want to dig deeper into the benefits--and perils--of forming an alliance with a bigger business? If you're contemplating an alliance, you'd better do this due diligence because, quite plainly, there are more ways for deals to go sour than there are probabilities they'll prosper. These Web sites offer well-formed, incisive analysis:

  • "Dispelling the Myths of Alliances" (http://www.ac.com/overview/Outlook/special99/over_specialed.html) is a thoughtful article written by a couple of Andersen Consulting partners, who say that 30 percent of alliances are outright failures (compared to 39 percent that are deemed unequivocal successes). They offer tips for getting your alliances in with the 39 percent.
  • SmartAlliances.com (http://www.smartalliances.com), put up by consulting giant Booz-Allen & Hamilton, offers the firm's advice to clients considering alliances. Don't miss the "Chart of the Week", which offers at-a-glance visuals on how to do an alliance right (and how most have been done wrong).
  • "Mergers and Corporate Consolidation in the New Economy" (http://www.ftc.gov/os/1998/9806/merger98.tes.htm), a statement from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) supported by rich statistical analysis, gives you the goods on alliances and the economy. The FTC, by the way, points to several factors as fueling the current trends: the need to be globally competitive, technological advances (deals often allow a company to acquire the technology it craves) and the ongoing wave of downsizing.

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This article was originally published in the February 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Find Your Partner.

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