E-Millions: The Power of Strategic Alliances for Online Businesses
By J.Dalton: SpreeMedia
  "Strategic alliances [or
joint ventures] provide opportunities for small businesses to accomplish things that would otherwise take much more money, planning, meetings and/or staff time."

  There is a very popular phrase that states: "No man is an island." In the area of strategic alliances, there are several ways that small businesses can collaborate with other business entities for the mutual benefit of all parties concerned.
  In this article, I will focus primarily on strategic alliance of on-line businesses, however, these tips are still applicable to off-line businesses as well. While you, as a business owner, is focussed on managing and growing your business, there may come a time when you need to form strategic alliances to increase the effectiveness of your operations - regardless of the type of business you may be involved in.

 Strategic Alliances are
 opportunities for small
 businesses to accomplish
 things that would otherwise
 take much more money and
 an investment of time and

   A vast amount of companies are forced to come-up with imaginative ways to enhance their market reach, increase brand identity, connect with customers and attract top-notch employees. Large and smalll companies are teaming up more today than ever before, in order to enhance their competitiveness in the marketplace and keep pace with the rapid changes in technology.

strategic alliance is an arrangement between two companies to combine their resources to gain additional business. Strategic alliances are formed when one company alone cannot fill the gap in serving the needs of the marketplace or, they want to pool expertise and resources to enter new markets, share investment risks and/or speed their products and services to market much faster. 
  Some strategic alliances are formal written agreements, while others are more informal.
 Because of the Internet, some alliances are entered into after several email exchanges, even without a physical meeting between the parties involved. Some alliances involve sharing of resources, including an exchange of funds, or the sharing of traffic between two
  Other strategic alliances are as simple as a cooperative,
joint marketing arrangement.  However, whatever their structure, one goal prevails, and that is: strategic alliances are opportunities for small businesses to accomplish things that would otherwise take much more money and an investment of time and resources.
  Many small business owners have limited resources and marketing reach and they are the ones that can benefit from cooperative arrangements with other organizations and business entities. Joining forces with another business can allow your business to finance certain services or production functions by sharing expertise, assets, expenses, and risk without necessarily incurring cash debt. 
  Here are several ways that you, as a business owner, can collaborate with another person or company to bring added value, revenue, traffic and/or expertise into your business.
Partner with a Key Customer:
 If you are selling a substantial amount of your product to one company, it may be a good idea to explore opportunities for strategic alliances between both companies. Your goal should be to enhance and preserve the relationship -- imagine the possible devastating effects of losing your single biggest account. Cementing the relationship into a long-term formal alliance will help mitigate the risk of losing your biggest customer and market. 
Partner with a Brand Leader:
 When considering strategic partners, look for partners who can add value and prestige, not just money, to your business through sheer association alone. If a brand leader wishes to join forces with you, grab the offer immediately! Your networking ability plays a major role in locating and investigating strategic partnering opportunities.  Business association with a well-recognized industry name can generate immediate credibility for you. It can be likened to receiving a stamp of approval from the best in the industry. 
  Even if the partnership does not offer direct financial remuneration, you can leverage your formal association with the brand leader in the advertising and marketing for your company.       ...


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