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The Art of Strategic Alliances

Look for three factors before making a decision on a new ally.

This story appears in the February 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Whenever I consider new strategic alliances or expansion opportunities, I look for three things: good partners, good financing and good . Whether we're looking for investors, partners or vendors, we weigh their experience, expertise, track record and character. The quality of the businesses or individuals we align with directly affects our future.

Are your philosophies and standards aligned? Is there trust and respect and a shared vision for the future? Are the rules and reporting processes clear and manageable? The best partnerships and alliances are ones that have the potential to deliver big wins--for both sides.

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