16 December 2016

Partner with a start-up to leverage each other’s success


As the tech marketplace expands and diversifies, new opportunities emerge for delivering unique value-added services; the time is now to leverage and capitalise with integration and partnering.

Looking through the lens of a partner consultant’s eyes, I am often a little biased when it comes to making it clear, that the only way forward for any business is to partner, partner and then partner some more.

SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) businesses have been doing this for years, and you’ll find the major players in the space as having very sophisticated partner programs.

Often what happens is organisations partner within a small parameter of “like minded, like focussed and like shaped” organisations, SaaS cousins that look to mirror each other and offer great complimentary services.

Usually the start-ups in this space are left to spruik themselves to the players that rule the roost, with very little looking “down” to see what the start-ups have to offer them.

SaaS start-ups begin life with a great set of tools, an amazing vision and what should be a unique offering to the market. Then they go into the wilderness that is the marketplace to create a successful account base,  whilst snatching at as much low hanging fruit as possible.

This however can be a long and painful experience, trying to find opportunities in a competitive and established market can be difficult in the best of times.

This is when the business begins to look at establishing a partner channel program, to help with their go-to-market strategy and exposure.

Traditionally however,  start-ups are told to “partner up” to go out and look for large partners and “win or acquire” partnerships and sell sell sell on the benefits of their business. Partners who are often sold to of course will only be willing participants when there is something in it for them.

It’s a strange trade off because many partners will feel like they are doing the start-up a favour, especially if they are much larger and more established.

So how do we shift this paradigm? How do we help established organisations see the benefits of seeking start-ups to change their suite of offerings? How do we encourage established organisations to be the ones seeking out the partnership with the underdog?

Organisations need to know the advantage of partnering with innovators and start-ups.

Given the competitiveness of the marketplace and the rate technology is changing, the time is now for organisations to think outside the box. Here are some high level reasons why larger organisations should seek out the start-up partner.

Unique & Diversified Solution

Why spend time on research and development when there are organisations waiting to partner with you? Improving your products and service offerings is an essential part to maintaining and growing your market share.

Many organisations don’t realise the unique opportunity that exists until a start-up approaches them, the opportunity to collaborate and provide unique and diversified solutions to better service your clients is a partnership away. Don’t let your competition get to the start-up first.

Increased Revenue

Partnerships create significant growth and the ability to distribute your services wider. Both sides benefit from the increased revenue. Partnership not only generates revenue for your company, but it also grows your sales footprint.  

Partnering with a start-up provides an opportunity to be able to negotiate on a deal or price premium, leveraging your position as the established organisation to come to a greater mutually beneficial deal.

Often when partnering with larger organisations, you don’t get the same flexibility when it comes to revenue split, than you do with a start-up. What does this mean? Greater control over your revenue stream with the built-in competitive advantage of a unique partnership.

Indirect Sales Channel

The direct sales generated by a partnership program are a key benefit of partnerships. However, when looking at integration or referral partnerships, a start-up’s solution can help attract new types and greater amounts of customers and users for your business.

The clients looking at the start-up’s solution might not be in your typical target market, or even on your radar, yet their innovation and attention-grabbing darling product is exactly what you may need to be able to capture a whole new market segment.

These new clients were unaware of your offering until you partnered with the start-up business. This works whether your service is being integrated with what they do, they’re jumping into what you do, or if you’re referring one another onto clients too.

Partnering for success

Each partnership creates a critical relationship on its own, where it’s a reseller, referral or integration type of partnership. Each one gives greater access to resources, expertise and an opportunity to differentiate for all parties involved.

When an organisation partners with a start-up they grow their visibility, brand and network. Partnering grants both parties unlimited access to each other’s business wealth and key resources necessary to bring on a different revenue stream.

To find out more about how partnering with an amazing start-up like Velpic is best for business, please register for a live webinar that I will be hosting by clicking here. All of the details are on the registration page. I look forward to discussing this great opportunity with you.