If you know anything about me and how passionate I am about collaboration, then it probably won’t come as a surprise when I tell you that I am huge fan of business-to-business partnerships. Although B2B partnerships can be a bit more structured and deliberate than everyday informal collaboration, they can be a powerful way to form alliances and advance your business.

Partnerships like this aren’t always easy to develop, though. They take time, research, a shared goal and a heck of a lot of open communication.

I recently wrote two guest posts on B2B partnerships for the folks over at Future Simple. The first post on their blog, Growth University, reviews the steps that are essential to forming a B2B partnership, and the second outlines what you should avoid in your partnerships if you want them to survive.

The excerpts below provide a peek the posts. Give both a read and leave your own feedback or share your own experiences with B2B partnerships.

9 Critical Steps to Developing Successful B2B Partnerships

All small businesses have access to two powerful tools that can help them ramp up sales and grow business at a fast pace. Both of these tools require a little elbow grease and a lot of planning, but when used effectively, they can increase the success of a business fairly quickly. The first of these powerful tools is word of mouth referrals, and the second is business-to-business partnerships.

Read more…

5 B2B Partnership Killers to Avoid

Although they have the power to change the level of success for a small business, B2B partnerships are not quick fixes. Forming the right partnerships, with the right businesses, at the right time, takes a lot of work on both sides of the relationship.

If you follow the nine steps I outlined for B2B partnership success, you should be on your way to a profitable partnership. However, even if you do follow those steps, there are things to watch out for that can sabotage a B2B relationship and cause irreparable damage. Here are five things to avoid in your next business partnership.

Read more…

Image credit (abstract people): cobrasoft
Image credit (puzzle/game pieces): lusi
Image credit (high voltage sign): Ayla87