Small business loans can help you really grow your company by providing you with the capital you need to obtain large quantities of supplies, rent another building to accommodate expansion, hire additional employees, and complete the daily tasks required of you in strengthening and building your company. However, small business loans are not the only source of capital that can help you build your company from a mid-sized single site to a multi-unit corporation that generates millions ($10, $20 $50 million) in revenue. Occasionally, you need to ally yourself with another company that can assist you in growing your business, i.e., sometimes you need to build alliances.
Alliances such as I am describing are called ‘strategic alliances’. A strategic alliance is a form of partnership, relationship or collaborative agreement between your company and another. This alliance is formed based upon agreed upon goals between your two companies while providing you both with a certain level of freedom and independence to achieve your goals the way your business wants. Because of the nature of strategic alliances, they can be large or small; in addition, they encompass a wide range of services and benefits that can enhance the way both of your companies operate. If you ally yourself with a company that has complementary strengths, then you will notice the benefits immediately.
What are some of the benefits of a strategic alliance?
- Increased credibility and visibility for your company
- Access to new skill sets, knowledge and experience
- Access to a greater pool of resources
- More competitive pricing and vendor / supplier deals
- Enhanced marketing and sales
- Added value and benefits for your clients and customers
- Company leverage on brands owned by or contracted with by the company
- Collaboration on larger, more complex projects
- Better market penetration
- Cross marketing opportunities
- New markets and methods of distribution
- Increased customer reach
Strategic alliances can save you the headache of constantly searching for the business funding you need for many necessary company activities such as marketing and branding. By allying yourself with another corporation, you are opening the doors to new possibilities. Small business loans, angel investors, private equity investors, equipment loans – these are all credible ways of accessing funding; however, they are not the sole means of growing your business to the size and sustainability level that you desire. A strategic alliance is another means of obtaining the funding you need – directly or indirectly – and increasing your exposure in the markets that you serve.