The One Hour Partnership Opportunist

Picture this. You’re a startup and you’ve got one hour of free time to seek out and make connections with bigger, more established companies. You want them to pay attention to you and you want your offer to stand out and be compelling — but where do you start?

Fortunately, Workdom is here to help guide you through the process. Set your clock, we’ve got work to do:

What Do You Want Out of the Partnership?

No large company is going to give you the time of day just because you want to collaborate with them. They get pitches and requests from hopeful startups all the time. A partnership just for the sake of a partnership won’t gain much traction. So the first thing you have to do is think about what you really want out of a partnership. For example:

  • Do you need some help refining your product? Can you turn to the larger company to tweak or otherwise improve upon what you’ve already built?
  • Are you looking to narrow down or widen the demographic you’re targeting, and you’re not sure of the best way to approach it?
  • Is your distribution network a bit leaky and you need to create a more streamlined, efficient process?

Whatever the reason(s), write them down because we’re going to take that information and run with it for the next step.

Know Your Value

Remember, your startup exists to solve a problem that you’ve come across. You’ve got a unique or worthwhile way to solve it, so know what you bring to the table in terms of benefits. In other words, don’t sell yourself short. But just knowing your value isn’t enough. Older, more established companies aren’t going to want to work with you unless you show them how you can help them, too.

The truth is that the larger and older the company, the more “set in its ways”it may be. They are slowly learning to adapt or perish in this fast-paced world of on-demand everything. If they’re hitting a wall with a new or unforeseen problem that your startup has an innovative or appreciable effort to present them, you can bet their proverbial ears are going to perk up.

Take some time to look at their business in terms of the big picture. Where have they been, where are they now, and what do they need to solve that your business is uniquely suited to tackle? Narrow down the companies that are the best fit and be prepared to explain how your solution can benefit them.

Establish a Personal Contact

You might get lucky and get a cold pitch noticed, but you’ll have a much easier time if you reach out to your network and see if you have any mutual connections who could make an introduction for you.

As you continue to interact with this contact, discern what it might be like to work together with them as a team — does it seem like it would be a good fit? You may be surprised what the collaborative atmosphere is like behind the curtain, and don’t feel bad if it’s not what you hoped for.

Create a Bridge

Your product or service and the larger company’s product or service may align well, but it works even better if you can work together to build a bridge between the products. You have to be up front and honest about what you’re offering, what you expect from the other company and vice versa. But at the same time, remember that they probably need you as much as you need them, so don’t sell yourself short.

Overall, be patient and ensure that you’re both on the same page with regard to measuring success and taking your next steps forward. Remember that big companies often take time to make decisions and those decisions often go through several rounds or can even get bogged down in red tape.

And when you need some help with outreach and making connections, you can relax knowing that Workdom is in your corner and ready to help. Send us a message today for on-demand marketing and help turning outreach into opportunities to grow your business.


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Disclaimer: This post is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investment and should not be used in the evaluation of the merits of making any investment decision. It should not be relied upon for accounting, legal or tax advice or investment recommendations. This post reflects the current opinions of the authors and is not made on behalf of Workdom or its affiliates and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Workdom, its affiliates or individuals associated with Workdom. The opinions reflected herein are subject to change without being updated.