I call it “Partnership 360” for a reason:
The best partnerships are always the ones that force you to think completely outside the box to find partners.
Here is an example:
In the early 2000’s everyone wanted to be in telecoms as they realised its potential at the time.
I had read an article about a power company in Scotland that used its powerlines to create a telecoms subsidiary. I decided to research this carefully, as I trained in both power and telecoms. Since I was living in South Africa at the time, I took my idea to Eskom, and they were fascinated by my proposal.
“Let’s partner to unlock the value of your telecoms assets,” I suggested.
“Yes, but why do we need you to do it?” someone asked.
“I have experience in running an actual telecoms business. All you have are assets. The other telecoms players don’t need you guys, because they have money. I don’t have money.”
It made sense.
That began a collaboration which led to us becoming Business Partners in a joint venture to acquire Lesotho Telecom when it was put up for sale in a privatisation.
It was this partnership that led to the creation of Neotel South Africa, but I was kept out by politics. So I turned my attention to Nigeria, and the rest of Africa. 15 years later I came back to SA, and managed to buy Neotel.
So what do you learn here?
- To find the best partnership opportunities you must be well read and skilled up in your own field of entrepreneurship. If I did not read serious books and articles about my field of interest, I would not have spotted that opportunity. It is as simple as that!
- Look for “win-win” opportunities for yourself and your would-be partners.
- There is no way you are going to get into a partnership if you have nothing to put on the table yourself.
Then demonstrate competence to make things happen. You cannot wish your way to competence; you develop it, through study and how you acquit yourself when give the opportunity.
- You must be trustworthy and always show integrity.
Sent from my iPhone
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