From the January 2005 issue of Entrepreneur

Big Deal

Why fight big competitors when you can partner with them? Satnam Gambhir, president of Envision Financial Systems Inc., approached Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Microsoft with an idea: Create an alliance to target the narrow segment of the mutual fund and financial services market that Envision serves.

"By creating a combined solution, we could help Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Microsoft penetrate a specialized market," says Gambhir, 45. Soon, the Tustin, California, software development company received $200,000 in funds for marketing activities and $70,000 in support services (including access to research capabilities and consulting) from Hewlett- Packard, Intel and Microsoft.

Drew Neisser, president and CEO of Renegade Marketing Group in New York City, helps companies set up these partnerships. He offers these cautionary tips:

  • Look for the win/win. Growing businesses must bring something to the table for the partnership to work.
  • Guard your innovation. Avoid exclusivity deals, and take precautions to ensure your product or service isn't ripped off.
  • Be prepared to walk away. Have provisions for ending the relationship if the partnership doesn't work out.

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-Melissa Campanelli


Advertisers will spend an estimated
$5.5
billion
on paid search in 2009, up from
$2.6
billion
in 2004.
Statistic Source: Jupitermedia


Gwen Moran is a consultant and writer specializing in marketing.