Strategies for Growth and Partnering Growing With Your Company And Your Partners
Where am I Taking You? • We’re going to look at you and your company in a different light! • Will it be small or will it be big? • Will it be “you” or will it be “the company”? • Will you be in charge or will someone else? • Will your company be broad-based or focused? • Who are your competitors and who are your partners? • We’re going to look at partners – corporate and business. • Yes, some day you’ll need a partner! • Approach each partnership as if it were a marriage! • Honest and up-front is the name of the game!
What Will We Learn? • Have a plan from the very beginning • Redefine and Refine the plan as you go • Always know what your are and where you’re planning on going • Know your strengths AND weaknesses • You’re always on the sell
Why Should You Listen to Me? • Michael Kelly/President and Founder of RiverNorth Systems of Minnesota • Founded in 1998 • Grown in Revenues from $250K to ~$1M in 2001; 1 employee to ~10 in 2001 • Transitioned from “single shingle” into a company with rent, payroll, budget cycles, partners, an Advisory Board, a Board of Directors and a Business Plan. • Daily growing pains – still! • But now, we know how to solve them
What Type of a Company are You Building? • Single Shingle, Lone Ranger, Solo Act, Lifestyle Company • Fast Track, Corporate Race, Rat Race, Conglomerate, Industry Heavy Weight • Something in Between • Take the Time to Plan. Your Growth Depends on it!
Will Your Company Be Small or Big? • Characterize size by: • Customer Base • 1, 10, 100, 1000 Customers? • Industry Breadth • Vertical or Horizontal within Your Industry? • Sales/Marketing Reach • Campaigns, Word of Mouth, Networking • Required Resources • Capital, Financial, Human • Think of the Plan!
Will Your Company be You or More Than You? • Sole Proprietorship • Only manage yourself! • You direct the company, You make the decisions • You reap all the benefits (Profits) • You’re limited to your potential • You make all the decisions • You do everything (work, finances, windows) • Think of the plan!
Will Your Company be You or More Than You? • Partnership or More • Your potential is higher! • You don’t have to make all the decisions • You don’t have to do everything • There’s more to manage • Your decisions are not always final • You don’t have total control anymore • Think of the Plan!
Will Your Company be You or More Than You? • There are different “mind sets” for each approach (Individual vs. Corporate) • If you’re a company – Think like a company • If you’re a individual – Think like an individual • Think of the Plan!
Who’s Running This Show Anyway? • Do You Have the “Right Stuff” • Would it Matter if You Didn’t? • NO – as long as the “right” people are in place • Think Seriously About All Positions in Your Company • Don’t Feel Obligated to ANY Position in Your Company • Find the “Right” fit in all positions! • Think of the Plan!
Corporate Expertise What is Your Company’s Niche? Electronics • Horizontal or Vertical? • Determine Target Industries • Determine Customer Base • Focused or Broad? • Think of the Plan! Corporate Expertise Travel & Leisure R & D Banking/Finance Computer Industry Telecommunications
Who Are Your Competitors? • What’s the Big Deal? • We Owe it to our customers to be competitive • Rates, Quality and Integrity • You could lose business without even knowing it • Competitive Intelligence is a Healthy and Smart Business Practice. • Leverage your competitors! • Think of the Plan!
Who Are Your Strategic Partners? • Types of Company Partners • Vendors • Channel • Suppliers • Be Careful! • Be sure of where your company is going • Insist your partners know where they’re going • It’s amazing how fast company vision and direction change given enough money – it’s called short sightedness. • Think of the Plan!
Choosing Company Partners • Avoid Overlapping Services/Products/Value • Establish Ground Rules • Competitive Boundaries • Compensation/Referrals • Know your business partner’s mission, goals and objectives • Think of the Plan!
Do’s and Don’ts of Growth and Partnering • Do • develop and write a Business Plan • Business Type • Company Size • Company Officers • Value Proposition/Niche • Partners • Marketing/Sales • Think like the company you want to be
Do’s and Don’ts of Growth and Partnering • Do • Choose Partners that will Produce “Win-Wins” • Have Integrity • Be Competitive • Don’t be Afraid to Think Out of the Box
RiverNorth Systems, Inc. • Michael Kelly/President/CEO • www.rivernorthsys.com • Michael.Kelly@rivernorthsys.com • 952-953-0635