Get All Access for $5/mo

Want to Grow Your Business? Here's Why You Need Strategic Partnerships to Succeed. The best way to put your new business on the map is through robust strategic collaborations with other businesses. Read on to learn how and why.

By Cyrus Claffey Edited by Chelsea Brown

Key Takeaways

  • Strategic collaborations serve as crucial growth engines, providing access to new resources, markets and innovations.
  • Fostering relationships with like-minded partners aligns with shared goals, fostering trust and a strong foundation for business success.
  • Flexibility, open communication, and innovation are the key tenets of successful strategic partnerships, which can lead to transformative outcomes.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

These days, businesses of all types are more competitive and interconnected than ever before. Because of that, the expression "two heads are better than one" is more accurate now than ever. In fact, leveraging unique strengths and resources through collaborative relationships empowers companies to navigate the complexities of today's marketplace better.

But don't just take my word for it!

Let's dive into a few ways that strategic collaborations helped me when I founded ButterflyMX and that can benefit your business. Then, let's explore how to make the most of them.

Related: How to Use Strategic Partnerships for More Explosive Growth

What is a strategic collaboration?

Strategic collaborations, also called strategic partnerships, are collaborations between multiple businesses that pool resources, like money and technology, to achieve success together.

When a company is just getting started, strategic partnerships are invaluable and a great way to improve your ROI (return on investment) and expand your customer base at a low cost.

There are six unique types of strategic partnerships:

  • Supply partnerships

  • Marketing partnerships

  • Supply chain partnerships

  • Financial partnerships

  • Technology partnerships

  • Integration partnerships

The benefits of strategic collaborations

Strategic partnerships are mutually beneficial relationships. Both parties have something to give and something to gain by working together. Let's take a closer look at the primary benefits of strategic collaborations.

Explore new innovations

Strategic collaborations are an excellent way for businesses to share access to complementary resources, expertise and industry knowledge. Moreover, sharing responsibilities and resources allows companies to navigate challenges and mitigate risks more effectively.

Extending brand recognition

A compelling advantage of strategic collaborations comes in the form of extending market reach and brand visibility. Collaborating with partners who have access to untapped customer bases empowers businesses to increase brand recognition and position themselves in diverse markets.

Catalysts for growth

Combined efforts and resources enable businesses to achieve more than they could typically achieve individually. Thus, strategic collaborations serve as powerful catalysts for growth.

Related: How Investing in Strategic Partnerships Can Help Grow Your Business

How to establish strategic partnerships

So, you know you want to expand your company's reach through a strategic partnership, but how do you go about establishing a worthwhile and successful partnership? Every collaboration is different, but there are a few key steps to take.

Identify potential collaborators

Before you can establish a partnership, you need to find potential partners. Attend networking events and conferences for ample opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals who offer valuable industry insights and knowledge of emerging trends. While there, focus on engaging in meaningful conversations, participating in workshops and attending relevant panel discussions to build strong relationships with peers.

But don't limit your outreach to in-person events! There is power in cultivating networking relationships in online spaces. Online forums like industry-specific social media groups and collaboration platforms provide a virtual meeting ground where companies can exchange ideas and share expertise with other innovators across the globe.

Establish common goals and objectives

Choose partners with similar values to create a strong foundation for collaboration. While considering different perspectives drives growth, it's best to partner with companies with shared core principles. By aligning missions, businesses can identify a unified purpose that extends beyond individual interests.

Build a solid foundation for collaboration where each partner sees tangible advantages, defines clear objectives and outlines specific, measurable goals to create a cohesive roadmap for assessing progress and success.

Encourage open communication and transparency

What's at the core of all partnerships, professional or personal? Trust.

Open and clear communication channels create a work environment where partners feel comfortable sharing ideas, concerns and updates. Regular meetings through video conferences, emails or project management platforms help maintain a steady flow of information and keep parties well-informed and on the same page.

Openly discuss each partner's contributions and commitments to build a foundation of trust and accountability. This transparency extends to timelines, budget considerations and any potential challenges that may arise. Transparency also empowers partners to openly address challenges.

No collaboration is without its obstacles. So, acknowledge issues early on and work together to find solutions to strengthen the partnership.

Fostering a culture with open dialogue makes way for proactive problem-solving and prevents small issues from escalating into larger ones. It also reduces the likelihood of burned bridges or soured relationships. By embracing open communication and transparency, businesses set the stage for a healthy collaborative relationship built on mutual understanding, trust and a shared commitment to success.

Related: 5 Characteristics to Look for in a Great Strategic Partner

Be flexible and adapt to different working styles

Every organization comes with its unique culture, operational style and preferences. By recognizing and respecting those differences, businesses create an environment that values diversity and embraces each partner's strengths.

A flexible working framework accommodates diverse business styles, has flexible processes, improves communication and facilitates smarter project management approaches that are responsive to evolving needs. This adaptability creates an environment where partners feel empowered to contribute in ways that align with their strengths. Be flexible in finding what works and discarding what doesn't to encourage growth and adaptability.

What's more, you should emphasize the value of diverse perspectives and consider different approaches to problem-solving. This leads to innovative solutions and offers a more comprehensive understanding of challenges. Embrace diversity to enrich the collaborative process, inject creativity and consider a broader range of insights.

Foster an innovative approach

Innovation thrives in environments where different perspectives converge. By merging different areas of expertise and knowledge, businesses create a fertile ground for creative thinking and problem-solving, sparking the transmission of groundbreaking ideas.

Moreover, strategic collaborations facilitate the sharing of technologies, knowledge and insights between partners. Collaborative environments also thrive on experimentation and risk-taking, where risks are more easily mitigated and shared equally. Explore unconventional solutions and embrace emerging trends to cultivate a dynamic culture of continuous improvement and forward-thinking. By leveraging the unique strengths of each partner, you'll foster an environment that promotes continuous learning and growth.

Cyrus Claffey

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of ButterflyMX

Cyrus Claffey is the founder of ButterflyMX, a proptech company focused on smartphone-enabled property access. Claffey has been developing and implementing real estate technologies for more than 15 years. He currently works with some of the largest names in multifamily and CRE.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


How to Close the Trust Gap Between You and Your Team — 5 Strategies for Leaders

Trust is tanking in your workplace. Here's how to fix it and become the boss your team needs to succeed.


6 Cost-Effective Ways to Acquire Brand Ambassadors

Boost your brand's visibility and credibility with budget-friendly strategies for acquiring brand ambassadors.

Health & Wellness

Get a Year of Unlimited Yoga Class Downloads for Only $23 Through June 17

Regular exercise has been proven to increase energy and focus, both of which are valuable to entrepreneurs and well-known benefits of yoga.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Side Hustle

'The Work Just Fills My Soul': She Turned Her Creative Side Hustle Into a 6-Figure 'Dream' Business

Kayla Valerio, owner of vivid hair salon Haus of Color, transformed her passion into a lucrative venture.

Business Culture

Why Remote Work Policies Are Good For the Environment

Remote work policies are crucial for ESG guidelines. Embracing remote work can positively impact your business and employees.