Partnering for better: 3 scale-up assets that will make partners say YES

Published on
June 1, 2023
Elisha Dunn
Content Manager
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What can you offer your potential business partners?

Now that you are scaling your business, you are faced with a new challenge: retaining market relevance.

Staying relevant to your customers while ensuring your business is running smoothly requires a new level of expertise, tools, and resources that you can get with a great partner.

The right partnership can bring amazing outcomes that neither party can attain on their own. However, it can be challenging to find the right one. 

But once you do, the next hurdle to overcome is to entice them to say yes.

In partnerships, you must be willing to rationally demonstrate how your partnership can be beneficial for everyone involved. It is important that you effectively showcase what you can bring to the table.

So, how do you do that?

By getting on their level and finding out what they need in a partner. 

Are they looking to minimise the negative impact of changes in the industry or markets? Are they looking to increase their expertise and resources? 

Are they seeking a partner to decrease the cost of acquisitions? Do they want to generate more predictable revenue streams?

Whatever their needs may be, it always helps to find out what their goals are, what they value, what gaps in their business strategy you can fill, and how you can help them reach their targets in better, faster, and bigger ways than their own.

If you still don’t have the answers, we have listed 3 key scale-up assets that can sway potential partners to say yes.

1) Expertise

What hard-to-find expertise can you offer?

When it comes to innovation, start-ups and scale-ups blow even industry giants out of the water. 

Big companies have bigger budgets and broader reach. But this also means that they also have the most to lose. This is what makes them more risk-averse when it comes to developing game-changing innovations. 

Start-ups and scale-ups, on the other hand, are not bogged down by red tape, take more strategic risks, are more agile, and are ready to pivot when needed. 

As a scale-up, you need to effectively communicate to potential partners how you can add value through your expertise.

Whether in the form of technologies, processes, or specific subject matters, potential partners know not to ignore a good opportunity when they see one.

As an example, we look to the award-winning Australian company Shippit.

When mates-turned-co-founders Rob Hango-Zada and Will On traded experiences with parcel misdeliveries over beers in 2014, they realised that traditional shipping channels mostly lack crucial information regarding delivery dates and times.

These shipping channels also do not give the option for recipients to have control over this, resulting in tons of unsuccessful shipping deliveries.

They knew they had to make a better way.

The following year, they launched Shippit and partnered with multiple fashion and homeware boutiques in Sydney’s famous Surry Hills. Eventually, they were able to partner with Australia Post.

How did they do this?

Shippit effectively showcased how their intuitive shipping tech can help Australia Post to make their services more competitive through fewer delays, higher reliability and transparency, and lower costs.

Today, Shippit powers deliveries for hundreds of retailers across the APAC region every single month.

How can you do the same?

Entice potential partners by showcasing the specific ways your scale-up can add value to their company or portfolio. 

What do you do best? How can your product/service help them create more value for their customers? How can you build on each other’s expertise and create bigger and better products and services for both your customers?

2) Valuable network and/or market access

Do you have access to hard-to-reach networks and markets?

Partners know how complicated and expensive tapping into high-value networks and markets can be.

Even the biggest companies can fail to access certain niche consumers. For scale-ups, this is where you can showcase your value.

Most scale-ups succeed not because they were the first to market a perfect, flawless product but because they were able to establish trust among a highly selective group of consumers.

As an example, we look to one of our successful clients, espresso Displays.

Their award-winning portable monitor is nothing new. When they launched their product, industry giants like HP and Dell were already making headway with their own version of portable monitors.

What set them apart from their bigger competitors lies in their marketing strategy: More. Anywhere. 

Together with the BeingIconic team, espresso Displays was able to build the messaging needed to effectively communicate to their core markets just how much value espresso monitors can add to both their professional and personal lives.

This opened espresso to a bigger, more loyal audience who want to get more out of their work and personal lives wherever they may choose. Even with their resources, HP and Dell never quite succeeded in tapping into this work-life balance crowd.

When it comes to enticing potential partners, make sure to drive just how much traction you have in markets that they themselves struggle with. And highlight how your existing relationship with these consumers can help them reach their targets — leading to a mutually beneficial long-term partnership.

3) Maximum effort

How much sweat capital are you prepared to give?

Business partnerships are a lot like marriages: One partner has strengths that offset the other’s and vice versa, each brings value to the table, and each gives what they receive.

In a best-case scenario, all partners pull their own weight, collaborate effectively, and drive their respective companies to greater heights. 

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When partners fall out, the company’s entire survival is put at risk. 

To avoid this, it helps to establish expectations from the get-go. 

Who is responsible for what? How will everyone consistently learn, grow, improve, and add value? How do you objectively measure effectiveness and competency? When one partner fails to meet expectations, how can you help them step up their game?

This goes back to vision and values alignment, where perfect synergy creates strategic direction for your current and future business strategies. When everyone has the same  priorities,  the decisions they make will always benefit everyone involved.

Convincing a potential partner to say yes to a strategic merging of minds, resources, and skillsets can be tricky, especially for newcomers. 

But, by effectively showcasing and communicating what value you can bring to the table, you will be able to open opportunities for incremental growth for both parties for years to come.

The BeingIconic team has varied industry backgrounds, experiences, and skillsets that open doors to vast partner networks experienced in helping scale-ups grow in magnitudes. 

As a result, we have helped forge strategic partnerships for our clients, which allowed them to feed their potential and grow their businesses.

Partner with us today if you want us to do the same for you.