Time is my most valuable resource. One of the most valuable uses of my time is investigating and entering into strategic alliances. The bottom line is that successful partnerships lead to predictable revenue streams, which in turn increases the valuation of my company. Many small business owners have fears and hesitations about being approached for an alliance. It can sometimes feel as if someone is trying to take over your business, the operational and financial implications are too vague or the work ahead too time consuming. The amazing potential these kinds of partnerships hold might not be readily apparent, but I assure you, that an investment in time today will pay off handsomely in future years.
In our marketplace, PowerHouse SMART® is a community of like-minded trade professionals involved in some capacity in the luxury residential design/build process. Strong local networking events where we connect and build relationships lead to collaboration and consistent referrals between the members. I’ve been involved with PHS for over three years and currently serve as a committee chair to help grow the Southern Wisconsin membership base. I attend at least one event a month; coffee meet and greets, symposiums, speed networking, etc. Knowledge share includes everything from marketing and branding, management efficiencies and technical know-how. The combination of these shared resources increases the value of each partner in a way that would not be possible if businesses acted alone.
Of course the greatest benefit for Barrett’s, is that I find trades that I respect and would recommend to my clients and hopefully the trades in the PHS membership think the same about us. It is the best investment I make every year with regards to business development. Targeted business development with the right trades leads to new and recurring opportunities to find the profitable jobs in the marketplace.
Barrett’s is also a member in more traditional design/build associations, including the AIA, ASID and HBA. Additionally, we have become a new member of The Chicago-Midwest chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA). The ICAA recognizes excellence by honoring the achievements and contributions of architects, painters, sculptors, artisans, landscape designers, patrons and others in preserving and advancing the classical tradition from the Chicago-Midwest area. My goal is to develop relationships as a member of this organization and build tighter, stronger alliances within the Chicago architecture community.
I have been involved with a new strategic alliance from its inception; the NextHaus Alliance. Our vision is to create a design/build team comprised of highly qualified professionals and like-minded firms that embrace the newest sustainable technologies. Ultimately, we’ll strive to be the best qualified team to serve clients for residential projects, known not only for quality construction, design and technology, but also for healthy, resilient sustainable and environmentally sensitive attributes.
The advantages in entering into strategic alliances are many, and you obviously need to keep some things in mind when deciding on whom to partner with:
- Are you and your potential partners able to meet each other’s performance expectations?
- Have clear goals been established? These are necessary before entering into any partnership. Costs, deadlines, project roadmaps and execution duties should all be laid out clearly.
- Partner compatibility and long-term commitments. This is ultimately the most important part of a strategic alliance. Both sides must feel that they will receive a clear and definite benefit from the partnership.
Engaging in strategic alliances allows each partner to learn from one another and develop competencies that can be more widely utilized elsewhere in standard business operations. Our company has enjoyed consistent, predictable income streams because of the partnerships we’ve formed and the efforts we go to as an active member. It’s a wise investment in time.