The Benefits of Partnerships
Companies form partnerships for many reasons: for example, a company may create alliances to optimize its business models, reduce risk, or acquire resources. Such partnerships are becoming the cornerstone of many contemporary business models.
Austin discusses the benefits of two major partnerships, one with General Mills and one with ThinkFoodGroup. Think about Austin’s experiences with these partners and consider what partnerships you may need to be successful with your new idea.
KEY PARTNERSHIPS: Describes the network of suppliers and partners that make a business model work.
After reviewing the above definition, answer the following questions:
- What have you learned from the Tio case to help you develop strong partnerships in the future?
- Who are your Key Partners? Why?
- Who are your Key Suppliers? Why?
Post your initial response by Wednesday, midnight of your time zone, and reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday, midnight of your time zone.
- Partnerships and teamwork along with a great idea and an addressable market, a new venture need to pay careful attention to human resources. It is often said that talented and committed people are the greatest asset of any business. For a new business or initiative, it is doubly important to be careful about the selection of partners, funders, employees, and team members. The quality of the alliances and teams that you form will directly relate to your new venture’s success. Austin provides some real-world examples of this as he talks through the value he has gained from two quite different strategic alliances, one with General Mills and one with ThinkFoodGroup.
By the end of this week, you will:
- Explore the benefits of well-matched partnerships and strategic alliances
- Understand how a strong team contributes to a new venture’s success
- Identify key partners and suppliers and discuss ways to build strong alliances
- Tio Gazpacho: Strategic AlliancesAustin partnered with General Mills through a funding deal, but his second major partnership developed quite differently. Austin admired celebrity chef, Jose Andres, and his innovative organization ThinkFoodGroup. So he found a mutual connection willing to introduce him to Jose Andres and he sent over samples of his product. It took six months to get a response but it was worth the wait.
Jose Andres met with Austin and decided to partner with him, which created a new sales channel for Tio as a co-branded product. ThinkFoodGroup manages a national chain of vegetable-focused fast-casual restaurants called Beefsteak and they integrated three of Tio’s soups into their menu. The CEO of ThinkFoodGroup accepted a place on Tio’s Board. So now Austin has the benefit of a new sales avenue, an alliance with a national brand, and a Board member with expertise in the restaurant space.
Ist classmate to respond to
Ronald StowePosted Date:August 23, 2021 10:16 PMStatus:Published
Dr. A & Class,
Austin Allan had a key point in the week 8 video clip from Real Time Cases – take the ego out of the game. The point was made subtlety when he talked about how he integrated several of his soups into the Beefsteak restaurant chain. In this partnership, he was selling his soup under the Beefsteak branding, with only a small logo for his company – to continue to grow and access to a new market, he minimized his name to support sales through his partner . In his book The Art of the Start 2.0, Guy Kawasaki similarly talks about knowing when the founder stepping away from the company may be in the best interest of the company long-term growth, again the creator has to check their ego for the good of the company .
Brew Here depends on partnership with the local brewing community. One element of the Brew Here enterprise plan is the integration with local brewmasters and breweries as the tie to the local beer culture. This weeks’ lecture notes highlight how partnerships must be mutually beneficial or the partnership will not be attractive to both partners . Without partnering with the local brewing community, Brew Here would open in a competitive rather than in one that is a mutually supportive relationship. This makes the local brewers one of the key partnerships at the start of the enterprise.
The other key partnership is with the local homebrewing clubs. Five active clubs are representing over 150 local home brewers registered with the American Homebrewers Association in Huntsville, AL. While the clubs do not represent all the homebrewers in the Huntsville, AL area, they are a key inroad into the community and the initial clientele for the homebrewing supply store side of the business. This group, like the local professional brewers, does not necessarily directly bring partnership money, but they do bring a customer base. Guy Kawasaki covers several concepts in his book, all directly relating to this community. Managing the relationship with the local homebrewing clubs is key to not only building the partnership and customer base but also to building advocacy in the community . Conversely, if managed poorly these clubs have many members active in message boards and other social media outlets, and spreading negative press is always easier than inspiring advocacy.
Key suppliers are needed to make the entire enterprise work smoothly, without the wholesale network behind the store, there would be no profit margin for the homebrewing supplies and the grain would be too expensive to source for production brewing. The key suppliers are broken into three categories, the local brewmasters and breweries providing their finish beer at a rate sustainable for resale, the ingredient wholesalers providing the grains, adjuncts, yeast, and hops, and the homebrewing equipment manufacturers providing equipment at wholesale for follow-on retail sale. These three key suppliers, the local breweries being both a key partner and supplier, each feed one or more elements of the Brew Here strategy. The brewers provide beer for sale in the taproom and education and interaction with the amateur brewing community – hopefully driving sales and bookings of training classes and brew-on-premises time. The maltsters and yeast producers provide the key ingredients to support both the brew-on-premises operation and sales to the homebrewer in the supply store. The equipment manufacturers provide both the equipment sold in the store, encouraging additional future ingredient purchase and the equipment to set up the brew kitchens rented for the brew-on-premises operation. The loss of any one of these key partnerships impacts the envisioned brand  areas would result in the loss of one or more of the Brew Here planned lines of revenue.
I appreciate your thoughts,
A. Allan, Interviewee, CEO Tio Gazpacho. [Interview]. 2021.
G. Kawasaki, The Art of the Start 2.0, New York: Penguin Group USA, 2015.
JWI575, Week 8 Lecture Notes: Building a Winning Team, Strayer University, 2021.
JWI575, Week 7 Lecture Notes: Branding and Sales, Strayer University, 2021.
2nd classmate to respond to
Malgorzata PerotinPosted Date: August 23, 2021, 6:43 status: Published
Dear Dr. A. and Class,
What have you learned from the Tio case to help you develop strong partnerships in the future?
Tio’s case taught me that strong partnerships could help the company grow in many strategic areas, such as product development or new distributions channels, through mentorship, tapping into partners’ know-how and connections. In Tio’s case, the partners’ representatives are part of Tio’s Executive Board. General Mills invested capital in Tio Gazpacho and acted as a critical R&D partner, helping develop new soup flavors to diversify Tio’s offering (JWI 575, 1). ThinkFood Group partnership and support led Tio to gain new distribution channels in Think Food’s restaurants (JWI 575, 2) with three core soups flavors. Most likely, having that experience led them to pilot a similar partnership with Walmart with the same flavors (SFA, 3).
Strong partnerships bring win-win situations to both parties. And in the case of new companies, they help open doors of opportunities for growth, innovation, and development that otherwise would not be possible for them to gain.
Who are your Key Partners? Why?
I have a few key partners. The first small group is my mentoring partners, including my husband, who supports me from the creative and visual aspects of my brand and digital presence. He also acts as a sounding board and day-to-day brainstorming partner. I also have a sales mentor who has been guiding me and teaching me sales skills for the past year. Sales skills are one of the most important ones for any business owner, and I think they are often overlooked (Haden, 4).
When I started my business, I have benefited from the mentorship of BACD, a non-profit organization in my area helping entrepreneurs (BACD, 5). I have partnered with BACD further by running workshops during the events they prepare for entrepreneurs. With such collaborations, BACD can accomplish its mission as a non-profit while offering me exposure to its audience (which is my ideal client) and opportunities to establish my expertise in the local market. As of 2022, I will also be eligible to become one of their recommended experts.
Along with BACD, I am in the process of forming partnerships with three other networking organizations. By volunteering time to run meetings or offering free workshops to the members, I can expand my reach and know-like-trust factor for my brand and gain clients.
Who are your Key Suppliers? Why?
My key suppliers are technology companies that I rely on to run my business, such as Zoom, Google Business, or GrooveFunnels. I also rely on Amazon for my DREAM-PLAN-DO journal. Amazon offers self-publishing services, which I am using. This solution allows me to ship my journal to any country my clients are in for a relatively small cost. I also do not need to carry any stock, which lowers my expenses (Amazon, 6). Moreover, I can sell my journal separately as a recurring revenue stream to people who are not my coaching clients (Amazon, 7).
Additionally, I currently work with one graphic designer who has been helping me developing visual content materials, for example, social media graphics, other marketing materials, and worksheets for my training.
As my business grows, I will form more partnerships and the list of my suppliers will expand as well.
- JWI 575. 2021. Week 4. Tio Gazpacho Business Case Video. Retrieved from https://blackboard.strayer.edu/webapps/blackboard/content/
- JWI 575. 2021. Week 8. Tio Gazpacho Business Case Video. Retrieved from https://blackboard.strayer.edu/webapps/blackboard/content/
- SFA. 2018. Tio Gazpacho is Now Available at Select East Coast Walmart Stores. https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/tio-gazpacho-now-available-at-select-east-coast-walmart-stores-125087/
- Jeff Haden. 2012. Without This Skill, You Won’t Succeed. Inc. https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/the-one-thing-every-successful-person-does-well.html