Questions to Ask When Forming an Alliance

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you get the answers to these questions.
1 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Emer Dooley, a University of Washington lecturer on strategic management, suggests you and your potential partners discuss the following three questions before finalizing your alliance:

  • What are everyone's objectives? There are three sets of objectives: yours, your partners' and the alliance's. Figure out all three in advance and determine whether they're compatible.
  • Is it a great deal for both sides? Don't just negotiate to get the best for yourself. If the other side thinks the deal is unfair, they won't put much effort behind its success. uWho's holding the reins? Know how dependent you will be on your partner. Negotiate a credible commitment so you're not subject to "hold up," where they've got you over a barrel.
  • What happens if you break up? Establish a set of exit conditions around default and failure to meet objectives. Make sure you understand and have control over how (and in what jurisdiction, if it comes to that) these disputes will be resolved.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Are you paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.