Creating a product is a stressful time for any company. Many companies choose to partner with another company to lift some of those burdens, but a wrong partnership decision can compound the problem. Any partnership should be mutually beneficial, and it’s important that you take the time to discuss with potential partners what each business can bring to the table. Perhaps one business has strong product marketing prowess, while another has cultivated a stronger following. Understanding strengths and weakness and how each can be combined to balance the partnership is important. Here’s what you should look out for when choosing the right partner:
The last thing that a company wants is to have to push back its product release date multiple times due miscommunication and missed deadlines. Honesty is a huge part of a partnership; being overly optimistic or naive about deadlines and deliverables will create havoc and damage credibility with customers. Balancing time is for product milestones is also important.
Let’s say you’ve designed a great software program for real estate agents. If you focused too much time on a specific feature, it could easily stall the entire project. Focus on delivering a working prototype of initial launch first, and fine tine from there. Set project milestones to ensure make both companies are staying on top of deadlines.
The partner you choose needs to have the same values as the company seeking the partner. There is no set of values that are universal; some companies value profits over customer experience or employee happiness. To determine whether you have similar values, have an initial meeting with your potential partner and discuss your visions—both in terms of culture and products. After you’ve shortlisted potential partners, visit them in their workspace to learn more about how they run their daily operations.
Vet the Partner Company’s Business Ventures
The last thing you want is to learn damaging information about a partner after work has already begun. Your partner is a reflection of your own business; if shady business practices are exposed on them, it can hurt your own credibility and finances. Being associated with a company that takes part in poor working conditions or other illegal/immoral ways to do business can cripple a company. Even some of the largest corporations that have been exposed have seen it impact their bottom line. Due your due diligence and hire a lawyer to ensure you’re protected across the board. Always ask questions about where products are sourced and what type of management style is being enforced.
Ironclad Contracts & Processes
Deals that are made with handshakes instead of ironclad contracts are worthless in today’s business landscape. There is plenty of legal paperwork that deals with intellectual property and how it will be divided if the contract is broken. The company that came up with the product idea should be clear about NDA agreements. Accountability and transparency are woven into the fabric of software development when jFrogs DevOps tools are used in scaling. DevOps tools also keep code much more secure and reduce the amount of manual errors made.
A Strong Joint Marketing Strategy
Even the best products need a sound marketing plan; certain product niches can become saturated quickly after a success. Coming up with the marketing strategy before any contracts are signed is important to avoid differences in style might become a huge conflict leading up to/after the product’s debut. If both companies have a strong digital marketing team then this can be a powerful combination.
A strong marketing team can easily be built with the strength of two companies. Marketers can work on the product release project while others can work on the core business and sales. Both teams should come together to make important branding decisions and determine how the product will reach its target market.
The process of picking a partner company to create and distribute a product needs to be as thorough as possible. As previously mentioned, a bad partnership could easily destroy even the greatest of products. To protect yourself and the future of your business, tread carefully when it comes to choosing partners.