I'm a big believer in teaming up with partners to get something done. A strategic alliance is a partnership that is mutually beneficial to both partners and is structured to further the parties' strategic business goals. Do you have content and they have more Web site traffic? Give them some of your content in return for a prominent link back to your Web site. Now you can attract some of their traffic to your site.
According to Alison Berke Morano, president of bworks, an Internet business solutions company, "A written agreement is always preferable. Make sure you both parties have a clear understanding of [the alliance's] goals. It's a big letdown when you find that your strategic partner is also working with your competitors to 'leverage' their own position."
Solution? Add an exclusivity clause to the partnership contract.
Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.