A global pandemic puts a lot into perspective. One of the things you’re probably thinking about more than ever is how to remain viable while still bearing in mind the unprecedented time we’re living in. Perhaps the farthest thing from your mind is how to leverage business partnerships during COVID-19.
There has likely been a shift toward protectionism in your business, but now isn’t the time to forget about your key business partnerships. In fact, now is the best time to hone those partnerships and become even more invested in building those relationships.
Here are 5 ways you can leverage business partnerships during COVID-19 while still showing your understanding of the current business climate.
There’s a lot to the Persian adage “this too shall pass.” It’s so important to remember that your industry will survive this crisis. Does that mean nothing will change? No. But it’s vital to the long-term success of your business that you keep your long-term objectives in mind.
While you are working on the short-term changes that are best for your business now, do not forget your 10-year business goals.
No matter how many competitors you have, you are uniquely positioned in resources and expertise among those competitors. This means that you can use those assets to develop new partnerships.
Many manufacturing companies (like 3M) have begun doing this by increasing the production of vital personal protection equipment (PPE). Some companies, such as Ford and GM, have even shifted their production from cars to PPE.
Find a need that your business can fill and reach out to the businesses and non-government organizations that can benefit.
Your business partners are going through the same things you are with your business: decreasing revenues, cash flow concerns, and changes to business operations.
Stay close to your existing business partners and focus on the mutual benefits to each of you from those partnerships. Don’t be afraid to reach out to offer—or ask—for help.
Here are some ways to support your business partners during the Coronavirus pandemic:
While offering help where you can, there are a couple of partner-related risks that you’ll need to keep in mind.
The most obvious risk is financial risk. Many people and businesses are finding their earnings reduced, so bad debt is a concern. This risk can be managed through conversations with the leadership of your business partners.
In addition to financial risk, staffing and people risks are a huge concern. Companies have slowed down hiring or have stopped hiring completely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, many companies are furloughing or laying off their existing staff. To combat this risk, work with your partners to protect the high-value people in their companies.
How your business partners treat their employees during this global crisis will tell you a lot about the business as a whole.
Focus on strengthening relationships with business partners that are showing compassion and are finding ways to balance the need to protect their business with their approach to employees who are likely needing extra support right now.
There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis will leave its mark, just as there’s no doubt we will get through it. Use this time of crisis to ensure that your business is aligned with business partners that share your values and work on a plan, together, to make both of you stronger in the face of disasters or crises in the future.
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