Whatever form of agreement you wish to take, whether it is an email or a contract, be very clear right from the start what you are both expecting from this relationship. Never make any assumptions and never keep it to just a verbal agreement.
“Clarify what outcomes you are expecting from the relationship and what outcomes you are expecting from the joint product or service.”
It could be an outcome which would affect the business profile of your
business or that of your strategic partner or it could be connect with financial outcomes. State these clearly as it will help to work on the goals.
Become clear as to how you will work together, how and when you will communicate with one another. You also need to be clear how one should market the other or how you will jointly market a product or service you have jointly created.
Be clear on who will do what in the actions, as you may have a strength which is their weakness and vice versa. It’s best if you are both working towards your strengths. Of course this doesn’t apply if it is a simple case of joint promotion.
You also must be clear on the financial arrangement, from how much should be charged, who will take the payments, to how much will be shared between you both. Alternatively, if either one of you is earning an affiliate fee, it’s important that this amount is clear and how often it will be paid.
Also form an agreement on boundaries and communication. Just like you would with a client you set boundaries in place on best practice to work with one another, in addition on how you will communicate if someone is not happy with the way the arrangement is going. There is nothing worse than harbouring feelings which will then affect the professionalism of the relationship. Be clear on how you will clear the air. We never want
to upset people BUT it’s far more damaging not saying anything at all.
Bear in mind that over time people and situations can change and the original plan may need to alter. Be clear on what would happen if either party wants to end the relationship and what would have to happen to allow the exit.
Find out more about networking and creating strategic alliances with this great ecourse.