The world is full of people presenting 'opportunities' that can change your life or improve your business.
I get offered at least 50 opportunities every week, whether it's people trying to deal package residential properties they don't own; Get-rich-quick schemes; Network marketing opportunities; Recruitment offers; Or lets not forget the hundreds of offers we all get through email marketing campaigns too.
Granted, some of these opportunities are genuine, and if you mix in those particular circles, they could be a good bolt-on to what you're already doing. But if it doesn't fit with helping you take a step toward your goal, it will most likely just distract you & send you in the opposite direction.
As an example of this, I was recently offered the opportunity to join a network marketing scheme. As a continual learner, I was more intrigued & somewhat tempted to join, by the opportunity of learning about what the company do in terms of marketing the product, and the psychology behind that, rather than by the product or business itself.
The only problem for me was the product. It had no synergy with what I do every day. If anything it's from a parallel world to mine. My average day consists of talking to all types of outsourcing businesses from construction to marketing services. Talking to businesses, investors, & channel partners. My client focus is solely toward B2B (Business to Business).
In truth, taking on such an opportunity, like the network marketing opportunity, would be like driving in the opposite direction to where the vision of my, and the businesses future lay.
So with regret, - because it was a friend who offered the opportunity to me, & I wanted to help them in their new venture, I unfortunately had to decline it. In the past I've gone in many different directions - often all at the same time, spreading my efforts too thinly, and in return seeing very thin results for what was, a lot of time, money, and energy spent chasing every opportunity that came my way. That's not to say I didn't work hard on every opportunity, I did, I often worked 17 or 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, but if I'd spent all of that time working on activities that took me toward one clear vision, I'd have achieved probably 100x the results I did. The key message here, is stick with what you know & the field that people perceive you as an expert in.
So how can someone choose the right opportunity?
Choosing the right opportunity has to be about choosing the win-win opportunity. It must be aligned with your own values, and help you step toward your end goal, rather than distract you from it.
Likewise if you're offering an opportunity, you've got to design & position it in such a way, that every stakeholder benefits, or else it just won't work. Have you ever been to a children's play park and noticed what happens on the seesaw, when you have 2 different sized children - One will stay in the air, while the other stays on the ground. It's because it's not balanced. Developing a WIN-WIN opportunity is the same, it must be balanced. Everyone must win, but most importantly they must win, in a way that's also perceived as balanced by each & every stakeholder.
Developing the Partner Model Matrix.
About four years ago, we developed a model for our business. we called it the 'Partner Model Matrix'. It's based on the profiling system of Wealth dynamics that I mentioned in a previous blog.
Effectively the matrix is a framework, for us to look for areas of growth opportunity, but because of how it's set up, we can see clearly which areas we can be most effective in, by bringing a partner into the business.
Our business model has always been about collaboration, openness, shared reward, & ultimately about creating opportunity by bringing people together, and so it was imperative to our business that we develop the Partner Model Matrix, as a tool to help further grow the business in the future.
Most businesses try to do everything themselves. They invest thousands in infrastructure & non-core services. They build sales teams & marketing departments. They try to do everything themselves.
What if they didn't have to?
We took a different approach. Our ethos is about creating value for everyone. We didn't try to be the best at running a sales team. We didn't try to be the best at running a social media campaign. When businesses try to be the best at every role in their business, the end result is mediocre results in EVERY area of the business. Resources spread too thinly, staff focus spread across multiple tasks, with no joined up approach to make things come together. With this being a main driver behind poor results in a business, we needed to take a different approach. A true partnership, both with our clients but also with every person & stakeholder in our wider business model.
This was a chance to ask ourselves, what are we best at?
Our strength is in creativity. Creating opportunity for our stakeholders, by bringing them together when they'd normally work in isolation. This is our strength, & this is our ONLY focus. So to help you create results in your business, I've put together a short list of the 10 principles to create a WIN-WIN partnership.
10 Principles to create a WIN-WIN business partnerships.
Know what you're best at. Understand your strengths, & admit to your weaknesses.
Find partners who compliment your weaknesses. Find partners who share your values, who empathize with your mission, & ultimately who understand your segment.
Make every partner a true partner. Integrate them into your business model, rather than just being another piece of your supply chain.
Monitor & adjust. It won't always be set up perfectly from the start. It might work as an idea in your head or on paper, but there'll practically always be an element of tweaking needed to make it work for the long term.
Share the same vision. By sharing the same objectives & goals with your partner, you can all work together, driving the business toward those goals & objectives. Otherwise you might just find that your priorities don't marry up, and it becomes a WIN-LOSE partnership.
Be open & honest. Everyone has a vision of how they'd like to see themselves or their business in the future. By openly talking about your aspirations, and those of your partner, you can make sure that you align your actions to help both parties achieve their vision.
Know the strengths of each member in your team, & put them in a role that suits their strength. That could mean seconding some staff to one of your partners, especially where you've previously employed your own non-core staff.
Establish responsibilities. Establish clear roles, responsibilities & action plans for each member of the team, and then hold each individual accountable to achieve predetermined results.
Understand your reason for finding a partner. Set targets according to your reasons, breaking your vision down into segments, starting from your 5 year target, breaking it down into Annual, Quarterly, Monthly & Weekly targets accordingly, and then report on progress accordingly. You can have each member of your team break weekly targets down into daily goals. By doing this, you can assess where on the plan you are according to performance. If you can set these targets according to experience, that's even better, but make sure that you stretch yourself, and your team, to keep them aiming higher. Grant Cardone, gives a great example of this with 'The 10x Rule'.
Schedule a check in. As with your Doctor, when you have a longer term illness, you'll always schedule an appointment at a future date, so they can check on your progress. It's the same with your team, and your partners. You can do this simply with a telephone call between the senior stakeholders, but it's also good to do it over a retreat somewhere. Spend a weekend at a resort somewhere, perhaps even use it as an excuse to take a holiday. But by coming together, you can discuss in greater depth how the partnership is going, any reservations, or problems each partner is facing, and discuss future opportunities that might be had, which time can then be spent planning to move forward. It's also a great opportunity to build and strengthen the relationship.
Setting up our business model in this way has really skyrocketed our progress. People like Dan Pena, talks about making Quantum leaps in performance, and like I mentioned already, Grant Cardone, with his 10x rule. I'd definitely say that developing our model, then following these rules has done it for us, but it's also achieved great results in our partner businesses too, & we'll continue evolving our relationships to make these even better.
So I'll close this weeks blog post with a question. Do you know where the weaknesses are in your business? What's stopping you from achieving your vision? Can bringing a partner in, help you achieve your vision much faster & with a much greater impact?
What will you do TODAY, to make that quantum leap toward your vision?
We hope you’ve received some value from this article, and some information that you can use to move forward toward your vision.
If you’re confident that selling your business is the way to go, or perhaps you’re undecided, it’s important to consider the significant amount of effort and resource you’ll need to make it happen. It’s a full time job. - The time investment alone is enough to put anyone off. So imagine for just a minute, that you didn’t need to do all of this work. What if this could be done over the next 3 - 5 years (by someone else). Everything we’ve listed in this article, is what you’d need to do, if you were selling through a business broker, or direct to a buyer.
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