In last week’s Business Development Meetup, “Startups Partnering With Big Companies: Best Practices,” a rockstar panelist of professionals explained the ins and outs of working in business development. The speakers included Serge Kassardijan from Google, Jared Grusd from AOL, Tristan Walker from Foursquare, Sanam Lari from Time Inc., and Rich Kennedy from Blip.tv, with moderator Rachel Sklar from Hashable. Here are some of the highlights:
When partnering with a company:
- Tristan from Foursquare said to be passionate about the company, love what it is doing, and trust it. The partnership should be able to benefit you and solve problems that your product is having.
When finalizing a partnership:
- Jared from AOL said to make sure you have a great product and continue to perfect it. The sexier the product is, the more it will be desired by bigger companies. Growing the audience and then being able to monetize it is very important and always top priority in any partnership. Look for the distribution and content partnerships, in particular.
When reaching out to or pitching to a company:
- Sanam from Time Inc. pointed out that you need to make warm introductions, tailor your objectives to the specific company you’re reaching out to and, if need be, follow up no more than two or three times; otherwise, just let it go. Be aware that there is a difference between being persistent and being creepy with your follow-ups.
These are some great tips to keep in mind for startups, PR agencies, or even for personal relationships. You will want to find a partnership that is complimentary to your company and matches your needs. If both teams work well as one entity, the relationship will last longer. Finding a trustworthy source and helping one another develop into a much larger force is the start to a good and healthy relationship.