Imagine camping in the middle of nowhere for 5 days with a small group of people you’ve never met before – with no supplies other than what you carried on your back after being dropped off by a bus on a road you didn’t think a vehicle could make it through…

I am ever grateful to have had that experience when I was 13 years old.  I remember vividly when the first guy to try on the pack (that would eventually become mine for the trip) fell over backwards!  Yes, I probably laughed for a moment with the rest of the guys, but then I quickly deduced who would be the next candidate…moi.  I learned a lot in that week about the deep woods stuff we see on shows today (but had no reference at all back then).

As I sat down to craft this message and considered my first real experience with a strategic partner, I was pleasantly surprised to revisit this long ago experience.

And really, isn’t running a business similar in many ways?  We feel our way through it and it gets easier and the experience becomes more fulfilling when we share it with more people and leverage our experiences and rewards.  AND….we have a much better survival rate the better we get at this.  Leading with leaders.

At DemGen, affiliates, alliances, joint venture relationships all fall under the same level of importance and are classified as a Strategic Partner – an important relationship to us.  The structure and design of these relationships are different, but the intentions are the same.

A strategic partner can arrive in many forms.  For example, I consider all of our team members KEY Strategic Partners, as they are all individual entrepreneurs and strategic to our business and that of our clients.  We take time to ensure there is a good fit for all parties involved and help each partner identify, clarify and hone their unique skill sets so they can operate in a flow state of competence.

DemGen also considers clients, prospects, complementary service and product providers, friends of the team, previous colleagues and alliances that we have met, that know, like and trust what we do to be Strategic Partners.  Our belief is to reward and offer value for value.  In other words if someone refers business to us and we benefit, so will they.  While many of the strategic relationships I’ve mentioned may seem straigh forward and grow organically, there are those that need to evolve through working together on short projects or in marketing lingo ~ to test and measure.

We are just about to launch one such project with a three-month trial that allows both parties to test out each other with limited risk.  In this case, the partner company has a need to outsource the sales and support side of their business and wanted to align with a team that can scale and evolve the business.  They like our capabilities and similar experience with other companies, and because they are up and running with some cash flow we are comfortable developing a base + revenue share model.  We’ve taken the time to get to know this company and they came to us because they are friends with one of our previous clients.

Like all relationships in life…they evolve.  Some that appear to be a match made in heaven can turn out not to be (we’ve had that experience as well).  But we all learn and grow and our intention gets clearer over time as does our ability to manage emotions and have a healthy dialogue.  One of DemGen’s core ingredients is focusing on the development of our (individual and collective) EQ or emotional intelligence.

Our passion is to help small to midsize businesses realize their ideal future vision.  I encourage you to review how to incorporate Strategic Partnerships into your growth plans to help your business thrive.

Gary Evans

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