For small businesses, collaborations are often hard to come by. Large businesses operate through partnerships to achieve higher targets. However, small businesses can also reap the benefits of strategic partnerships with other businesses.

More than half of all businesses report using strategic partnerships to get new customers

. Most business owners realize the importance of partnerships but do not know how to go about it.

All business partnerships begin with a solid business partnership proposal. If your partnership proposals fail to convey the purpose of the partnership, it is most likely to fail. Today, we will go through the different factors that make or break a business partnership. We will cover different aspects that begin at a conceptual level and end with the closure of the deal. Without wasting more time, let’s dive right in.

Top 5 Tips to create a business partnership proposal

In our five tips to the perfect business partnership proposal, we will talk about understanding your business partner, aligning goals, coming to a mutually beneficial agreement, drafting a proposal, and closing the deal. Once you know how to take care of each of these aspects, sealing a business partnership with a solid proposal will become very easy.

1.    Arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement

Partnerships are all about both parties getting the most out of the deal. Before you start thinking about a business partnership proposal, you need to understand that it would not be for your sole benefit. In many areas, you might need to compromise on a few things to ensure the deal’s profitability for your partner. On the other hand, you should never settle for a business partnership where your vision and goals need to be compromised. In business deals, both parties try to come out on top and assert dominance. While you should not try to be the hero of the partnership, you should also never sidetrack your motivations behind the deal. A big mistake that people make while writing business partnership proposals is to highlight or promote their business. However, that would be counterproductive since you are not trying to sell your services or products to the partner. Instead, you are to agree to a deal that would benefit both your business and your collaborator. Remember to highlight the points that convey this message more than trying to upsell your business. Arriving at a mutually beneficial deal is the most difficult part of any business partnership. It requires a thorough understanding of your goals and vision and arriving at a solution that aligns them with another business. It is the first thing you need to think about before entering into any sort of business partnership.

Target business partnerships that precisely target your limitations

and help you grow together.

2.    Research the industry

You cannot wake up one morning and decide to have a strategic partnership with another business. All big business houses have separate departments that look after these matters. However, small businesses and solopreneurs can also do great research with the necessary time, effort, and resources. The first part of your research should focus on identifying potential partners. There are a few metrics that you need to keep in mind during this step. Remember that the most obvious partner might not be what you are looking for. Often, you can benefit from businesses that cater to a completely different customer base. That way, you can get an avenue to enter new markets and acquire new customers. In the second part of your research, you should narrow down your search and arrive at a few businesses that seem to be a match. Then you need to research more about each business and highlight the pros and cons of partnering with them. If the pros outweigh the cons, you would know which businesses to approach. The third part of the research process should focus on track records and historical data. Before entering into an agreement with another business, you must understand everything that they do and where they have failed. At this stage, you might end up rejecting companies that seemed to be good matches in the beginning. In such cases, go back to your shortlist and look at other opportunities. Unless you find a business that ticks all the boxes for you, going into a strategic partnership would not make any sense.

3.    Identify your limitations

While you may think that X business is the perfect partner for you, X business might have some very different views. To convince them about the effectiveness of the deal, you must begin with identifying your limitations and the areas where you fall short. Remember that your partner business would also have its own set of limitations. However, if the limitations do not cause any hindrance in growing each other’s business, it can be a good deal. To identify your weaknesses and limitations, you must first take a third-person perspective. The business you would want to partner with will also be assessing you. When you know your limitations and possible workarounds, you can mention the same in your business partnership proposal. That way, you get leverage and possibly also have the solutions to those limitations. Identifying your limitations also has another benefit. Once you know the areas where you fall short, you can look for businesses that can complement your shortcomings. A perfect business deal is where one fills up the gaps in another. Without knowing what the gaps are, there is no chance of them being filled. Businesses have limitations that may not have anything to do with their business model. Sometimes, external factors can pose a lot of hindrances and stop businesses from growing to their full potential. Even for such cases, you should know exactly what they are so that when external conditions change, you can find your way out of that limitation. Identifying your shortcomings is a

key to success for small and medium businesses

.

4.    Structure your business partnership proposal

Now we are at a stage where you are starting to draft your partnership proposal. This stage must come only after you are done with your research and shortlisting. A huge mistake that businesses make is to jump into a proposal without understanding their needs and wants. That is a recipe for disaster when it comes to business partnership proposals. Here are a few things that your business partnership proposal must include:  

  1. Details of financial management and split
  2. Your expectations from the partnership
  3. Your non-negotiable terms
  4. Your negotiable terms
  5. Where you see the partnership in the next 5 years
  6. A dispute settlement framework

However, this is not an exhaustive list. You can include other points to make your proposal stronger. A great way to approach business partnership proposals is to use templates. With the help of templates, you can come up with a convincing business partnership proposal even if you don’t have great writing skills. You can find great

templates on Pitch

that can help you with bold and persuasive business proposals. Structuring the proposal is the most important part of the process. You should not begin your proposal in a way that highlights why you need the partnership. Instead, focus on all the points that make the offer beneficial for both parties. Apart from that, make sure all financial obligations, both negotiable and non-negotiable, are clearly stated. Lastly, have a dispute settlement framework that will help you navigate through conflicts and challenges.

5. Align goals with the partner

The most important component of a business partnership is shared vision. If you do not have a shared vision and goals, no strategic partnership will help you upscale. For example, if climate change awareness is a part of your ethics, you cannot and should not partner with a business that is indifferent towards climate change. Similarly, financial goals should also align with your business partner in order to grow steadily and consistently. Otherwise, you will end up with disputes and conflicts that can ruin the partnership. Apart from aligning your goals and vision, you should also take your business approach into consideration. Some businesses, for example, rely heavily on influencer marketing. Others might be doing a great job at organic growth. If your business partner’s working models come into direct conflict with yours, it is not a partnership to pursue. Apart from that, you should also understand how the temperament of business managers and owners match and whether it will be conducive for growth. Without thorough research, it is not possible for businesses to find other businesses that share a common goal. In many cases, the differences in opinion might be in apparently small factors. However, small issues can turn out to be substantial in the long run. For that reason, understanding vision and goals are extremely necessary before drafting your business partnership proposal.

Conclusion

By now, you must have a clear understanding of how to create an influential and effective business proposal that gets the work done. By following these steps and ideas, businesses of all scales and sizes can come up with business partnership proposals that work in the real world.