Forming a mutually beneficial relationship with another company can be an effective way to break into unexplored markets and gain new customers or clients. A strategic partnership opens doors that may otherwise be inaccessible, and it helps to hasten the speed of growth. To keep the benefits even between both parties, it’s very important to choose a complementary strategic partner that won’t compete directly with your product or service. Just because a strategic partnership looks ideal on paper doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea. You never want to rush into a symbiotic business relationship. Spend some time getting to know the inner workings of the business, including the staff, customer or client base, and future plans and goals. It’s crucial to look out for any warning signs that could cause a problem down the line. For example, if you’re the type of person who focuses on the broader long-term picture, you’re probably not going to have a successful partnership with a business owner who is just trying to make a quick buck. As you seek a cooperative partnership, look for companies that share your core values, have a solid reputation, and have a strong brand. Carefully consider what the other company has to offer, and compare it to what your organization brings to the table. Even if one party is prepared to offer more or accept less, it’s a prudent strategy to keep everything as even as possible to avoid future issues. Structure and accountability are the keys to a successful strategic partnership. Passivity hurts both parties, so you want to be active, energetic, and motivated. Not only will you get more done, but you’ll also inspire your partner to do the same, skyrocketing both businesses to heights previously unattainable.