When Does It Make Sense to Partner or Merge?

I've written before about how tough employment markets are encouraging people who've never been in business to seek out entrepreneurship as real options for themselves. For many this is a good development - even a predestined outcome. On the other hand, we've also seen the rise of the "solopreneur" which is to say some launch out in business alone and never add to their teams.

I learned a long time ago that if you don't have an assistant, you ARE the assistant! Whether you bring on staff or not, I still believe too many of us are working alone. Even the king of the jungle hunts in packs. This is particularly critical in challenging markets. In my research, I've found there are thirteen reasons/justifications for merging your work, business or practice with another professional or company. Consider a partnership or joint venture when:

1. There's opportunity to enter new markets or penetrate current markets more deeply.
2. You have the chance to expand your distribution capabilities.
3. You can fill strategic gaps in your organization.
4. You will increase your technological capabilities and/or acquire new skill sets.
5. Joining forces allows you to achieve a better cost structure & generate more revenue.
6. You can leverage another's brand/name.
7. There is a tangible skills transfer.
8. You can both gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.
9. A merger fits with your strategic direction.
10. Shared knowledge can improve technology.
11. Customers will receive enhanced services.
12. Improved Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) will result.
13. You can decrease operation risk.

Consider whether any of these opportunities exist for your business as you move forward into the next months and years. Proper partnership could mean the difference between survival and starvation. Partnership might also be your bridge from good to great. Personally, I would love to see more of us come together to build major enterprises instead of having so many small, but often globally insignificant (no offense) operations.


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