18 Oct

Stop Selling and Instead Partner with Small Businesses

Swiffer — innovation brought to market through a partnership between large and small businessesAre you finding it a challenge to reach niche markets?  Too costly to go after on your own? 

Has innovation inside your organization stalled or become stale?

Perhaps it’s time to do what companies like Google and Proctor & Gamble are doing: partner.  A growing trend is that of large companies partnering with small businesses to their mutual benefit in the marketplace.

Steve King, project leader for the Intuit Future of Small Business report and a research affiliate with the Institute for the Future, spoke about this trend in the latest episode of my radio show:

Partnering between large and small businesses is occurring more frequently. — Large companies such as Google are now partnering with small and mid-size firms, whereas a year or two ago, they were partnering strictly with larger firms. By partnering with smaller niche players, Google can now provide technology and services to these niche markets, with the small business partner receiving a percentage of the profits from those sales. These new partnerships differ from the traditional relationship dynamics between large and small businesses, which were either competitors or vendor/purchaser.

Steve also points out the example of Proctor & Gamble, which used to do all of its product development and innovation internally. Now as much as half comes from partnering, especially with smaller firms. One example he gave is the Swiffer cleaning product — it is licensed from a smaller firm, not developed internally.

Steve gives an insightful look at the development of the ecosystem between large and small businesses:  What Small Business Owners Want.

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  1. Chris said on October 22nd, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    It’s really inspiring to see the larger organizations taking notice, and making use of, the insights and innovation of smaller companies and organizations.

    Steve provided many insights into the new ways of thinking regarding these larger organizations and the new trend of partnering that they’re embracing. It’s now becoming more and more possible to achieve success as a little guy.

  2. EJMalyn said on October 26th, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    I think this new trend of doing business between large ans small is very encouraging.

  3. wilson ng said on November 12th, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    the best way, I agree to reach small niche is to partner.

    There was a time that Dell had so much religion about going direct and cutting costs.

    how they find out as they get bigger that the channel is getting a cut, but is the cost effective and another good way to reach more customers, and lower costs.

  4. Dr. Wright said on November 14th, 2007 at 9:32 am

    I think its great to see this trend, smaller companies need to learn how to use leverage much better.

  5. […] There’s an increasing trend of big companies partnering with small businesses.  I wrote about this a few weeks back in my article,   Stop Selling and Instead Partner with Small Businesses. […]

  6. […] Stop Selling and Instead Partner with Small Businesses — A trend today is for large corporations to partner with small businesses. Learn some of the ways that large corporations have decided it is in their interests to partner with smaller businesses. […]

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