For small companies, competing in the business world can be a daunting task. But in the ever-evolving digital age, more and more small companies are able to play in the big leagues. They can be in serious competition with national and even global corporations.
So how does a small business take advantage of the business world and up their game? Roosevelt Giles, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc., shares five insightful tips on how going digital can make your small company bigger and better than ever.
View the first tip here, and check out the second tip below.
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Commandment 2: Form Alliances
Running a successful business today is all but impossible to do without the right partnerships. Companies often want to grow their businesses organically. They want all of their experts in-house and they want to create new resources from within their existing knowledge and expertise. But in today’s digital world, businesses simply cannot move quickly enough into emerging markets if they are also taking the time to research, create, and produce every new service themselves.
This is where partnerships become an essential part of your business plan. Whether you have five employees or 5,000, every company has to look at itself as a global company. The digital age is ripe with opportunities to gain entry into marketplaces your business couldn’t have considered otherwise. If you know from your customer feedback that many clients are looking for a specific product or service, you will be able to utilize your business partnerships to give your client the information they need, while also positioning yourself as a wealthy resource of knowledge and expertise. Though you may not be providing the expertise yourself, your clients will know that you are able to find the information they need and that you are willing to help them gain access to that information. Your client is then more likely to recommend your services to friends and colleagues who are in similar need of the information you have provided.
In order to successfully make and maintain these alliances, you need a few key components: First of all, you need to establish an element of trust. Make sure you have a good accounting firm and capable legal counsel. Much like the partnerships you’re working to establish, expertise is key: it is in everyone’s best interest to make sure that the experts you know in the accounting and legal world are helping you to combine resources with your new partner. Secondly, an operating agreement or contract agreement for deliverables is essential. Who will be offering which service? How will the costs be shared? How will the client expectations be managed? You must decide how to best address these items before proceeding with an alliance.
One important thing to remember about partnerships is that it is not always a conflict-free relationship. You will not always agree with your partner on how to best address a client need. Oftentimes you will each have equally valuable ideas of what your next steps should be. In these situations, you will be able to refer to the established document that outlines your policies and procedures, and your alliance can continue to grow and serve your clients first.
About the Author
Mr. Roosevelt Giles serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc. and as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Information Management Systems, Incorporated. With over 26 years of experience in the information technology field, he spends much of his time sharing his business expertise all over the world, and is an internationally-known technology expert, speaker and lecturer. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.