Business Teaming – turning trust into credibility

Business Teaming – turning trust into credibility

Today’s business world is a landscape of ever increasing competition and complexity.  Few organizations can gather and maintain all the resources they would like to have at their disposal as they pursue and execute new work.  In most industries this challenging reality is often overcome by taking advantage of strong teaming relationships between businesses.  Solid business teaming arrangements can be a solution to meeting your business goals.

What is Business Teaming?

For our purposes business teaming can be defined as: the joining together of two or more separate business entities, via a written contractual arrangement such as a memorandum of understanding or teaming agreement, for the purpose of forming a team to pursue common business objectives.

Consider the following criteria to determine whether business teaming is right for you:

Evaluating a Teaming Possibility:

    • Will a teaming arrangement substantially improve the chances of success?
    • Is a team member necessary to acquire expertise or resources?
    • Does a potential team member already have a working relationship with a customer?
    • Did the potential customer suggest a teaming arrangement?
    • Will working with a team member on one project yield experience that can be applied to future opportunities?

If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, then business teaming may be a good tool to help you achieve your objectives.

Evaluating opportunities for a possible business teaming arrangement is only half the challenge – locating a good potential team member is just as important:

Assessing and Selecting a Specific Team Member:

    • Does the team member have necessary or desirable experience?          
    • Does the team member have a strong reputation in a particular industry?          
    • Does the team member have prior experience with potential customers?
    • Does the team member have complementary strengths and weaknesses?           
    • Does the team member have complementary industry experience?
    • Can the team member provide key personnel?
    • Is the team member in good financial condition?
    • Is the team member’s corporate culture and chemistry compatible?   
    • Have the parties had a prior positive relationship or interaction? 

If you answered “Yes” to more than a couple of these questions, then you should consider moving past a handshake to a formal written agreement in order to fully realize the benefits of the relationship with this potential team member.

Be careful as part of your final selection process to assess: potential conflicts of interest; historical or active disputes or litigation; and whether you are direct competitors.

Get it in writing:

Once you have decided to move ahead it is important to go beyond a handshake and entering into a written business-to-business relationship.  A written agreement captures the team’s marketing strategy and reflects its goals and objectives in an easy to read document.  More than just a non-disclosure agreement, a well crafted teaming arrangement will facilitate the teaming process and enhance the business relationship.  It will also create a foundation for announcing the formation of the relationship in a press release, on a website, or in a project specific proposal for a potential customer.

Your written agreement should: identify the parties’ mutual goals and objectives, define the structure of the relationship; and determine the resources needed to accomplish your plans and manage the relationship.  It’s a lot easier to meet your goals and objectives when you have a written plan for making decisions and moving forward.  By having a written agreement you can turn the trust of your handshake into credibility.

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