Of course, partnerships are no cure-all. "Over 60 percent of alliances fail," says Segil. She lays the blame on too much attention paid to the business aspects of the deal and neglecting softer issues: "As you go along, the business concerns decrease, and the personal issues increase."
But schmoozing is what running your own firm is all about, right? This new environment requires that you work with the big kahuna as well as the smaller fish. You have to be adaptable and able to swallow your ego if your dreams of partnering with a Fortune 500 firm fade into working with a five-person shop down the street. Think strategically about the role you can play in partnerships with both bigger and smaller companies. Your systems have to be alliance-ready.
Sounds like a challenge any entrepreneur would relish-as long as it keeps the party rolling.
|That's not all, folks! Here are even more
tactics you need for success in 2001:|
THINK GLOBALLY:Vincent S. Daniels, director of the international MBA program at Florida International University in Miami, says to look overseas for opportunities to grow your company. "Globalization is going to be the driving force for the next decade or so," he says.
"Franchising is the biggest area internationally," says Mike Cosgrove of the University of Dallas. "The U.S. is franchised out, but much of the world is not-including India and Latin America."
DESIGNATED HITTERS:Stop beating yourself to a pulp every day-find someone to share the burden of running your company. Cosgrove notes an increasing number of talented, wealthy executives want to run small companies. Taking advantage of this talent pool may give you the expertise necessary to take your company to the next level. If someone else can do the job better, the best move for you and your company may be to excuse yourself from day-to-day operations.
Chris Sandlund is Entrepreneur's "Management Buzz" columnist.