Startups are understandably focused on proving out their sales and marketing model or internally building technologies and solutions. However, as your company evaluates its growth alternatives, it is important to thoughtfully consider and evaluate the benefit of partnerships and channels sooner than later. Partnerships and channels can provide:
- Faster access (and at lower costs) to customers, new markets, segments, and geographies
- Complementary products and services that help drive your sales
- Needed sales and engineering resources, capital, and expertise
- Differentiation from competitors
- Validation of your business with the investor community
- Strategic funding and downstream potential exit
As you evaluate whether partnerships and channels can help you achieve any of the above goals or other strategic objectives, it’s also important to assess whether your company’s culture supports or can support partnerships? Does your company have the expertise and experience in developing effective partnerships? The CEO and management team may understand the value of partnerships, but is this value embraced throughout the organization? Developing a strategy is just the first step. How to execute a partner strategy, develop effective partnerships and channels, and achieve projected growth – that is the great opportunity.