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When entrepreneurs sign up strategic partners, the primary focus often is on development and sales of products or services. For their protection, however, entrepreneurs also need to focus on crafting a proper legal framework in the event the partnership needs to be terminated.
The entrepreneur recounts how his firm went from being one of 50 tactical suppliers for a large firm to joining its exclusive club of strategic partners. The key: first understand these large firms' challenges and deliver solutions that would transform their businesses.
For effective strategic partner recruitment, the author recommends an eight-step plan, which includes identifying your target market, developing partner selection criteria, and developing an alliance plan with a selected partner.
After years of bumps and bruises acquired in partnering his small firm with large ones, the entrepreneur shares his lessons learned along the way. He outlines a five-step partner consideration process, which includes researching potential partners for proper fit and using your small size to your advantage.
When structured properly, a strategic partnership with a large company can catalyze a small firm's growth. In establishing a partnership, entrepreneurs should focus on how their product will be sold, who will sell it, and how the partner will facilitate sales growth.
When getting ready to engage with a strategic partner, entrepreneurs should enter into a written agreement when working with these partners to ensure, among other items, the proper assignment of invention terms and various representations and warranties.
Careful measurement and management of your partnerships can protect entrepreneurs from entering into agreements with the wrong strategic partners, and it can provide a sound basis for making the most of productive partnerships.
Richard Caruso considers success less a matter of financial accomplishment than of meaningful personal contribution. He's managed to do both.
Jeff Smith's trip to Honduras has evolved into a model that encourages aspiring entrepreneurs and helps struggling communities in the process. Smith received the Kauffman Community Award in honor of his accomplishments at a special presentation at the 2006 EO Chicago University.
Marcia Mellitz, president of a St. Louis-based technology business incubator, recounts the roller coaster tale of two entrepreneurs who ride the wave of startup, failure, and ultimately success.
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