Having business partners for your business is a great way to secure finances, cooperation, new ideas, new markets, and securing your business information. Getting business partners requires effective networking and you need to devote time, energy and resources to secure partners.
The following are some of the valuable sources of international business partners.
Government, Embassies and Regional Bodies
In most countries, the ministries dealing with trade can help business owners to secure foreign business partners. These departments have databases with potential business partners and can link your business with them. For instance, in South Africa, the South African Department of Trade and Industry covers the costs of attending trade shows and traveling to foreign markets.
Likewise, many other African countries provide export and trade-related information to help business owners get partners and investors. Besides, trade departments can also give you the additional information that you would not have otherwise secured about business partners.
You can also approach embassies in your country. Embassies promote trade and as such trade counsellors can be a great help in helping you connecting with similar businesses in their country. Regional bodies such as SADCC, Comesa, the European Union are also a good source of partnership information. For example, The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) has an updated list of companies in Europe looking for partners worldwide.
Business associations can be of different kinds and nature. They can include boards of trade, chambers of commerce and business councils. They are meant to promote trade in specific countries. Business associations have contacts and more information about markets in particular countries. They are a good source of information and can help you locate good business partners.
For instance, Business Networking International (BNI) is a global networking platform for business. It operates under the slogan ‘Giver Gain’, where businesses get partner referrals. You can join such business associations and this way; it will be easy to get a business partner. The World Chambers Network is also a valuable database of international companies and chambers of commerce from different countries in the world. You can get new business contacts and market information from the database.
Having foreign business consultants can help your business is critical. They help your boost your business networks, whether it is for a small or large business. Since consultants have engagements with many businesses, they can advise about the potential compatible businesses you can liaise with.
Also, brokers and financial institutions are instrumental sources of information about business partners. Financial institutions have an interest in the expansion of their customer companies. As such, they can help you expand your business by providing you with the necessary information.
Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
NGOs are on a rapid increase. They have access to local markets and governments and provide you with information regarding foreign partners that can link to your business. Also, NGOs get funding from foreigners and can help your business get known to them.
Based on your business’s nature and services, you can also partner with NGOs for efficient service delivery. Most NGOs are involved in humanitarian and philanthropic activities and if your business meets their line of duty, you can become partners.
Social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn have many companies marketing their products and services. You can approach companies with similar values for partnership. Make sure you draft a professional email introducing yourself and your company in brief details. Include important details such as when the company was founded, the team, market size, etc. You can also join Facebook groups such I Need Business Partners. There are many daily posts of people looking for business partners from all over the world.
Books and Studies
Many studies and books have information related to market researches. Some of the studies can be accessed free of charge, while others need to be paid for. Alternatively, you can look at economical and market research books from local book stores, the library, or online.
Expos and Trade Shows
Most businesses organize shows and trade fairs to connect with their customers and to get business partners. Through trade shows and fairs, you can know about a particular business’s products and services. This way, you can identify which businesses have similar values as yours. There are different kinds of trade fairs, among them world expositions. Industrial trade shows have commercial components that make it best for most businesses.
You can keep checking for upcoming trade fairs and expos. Most of them are advertised on local newspapers. Set your goals before attending the expo. Then get to know some of the organizations that will be taking part in the trade fair. Research about them and get to know about their services and products. During the trade fair, you can visit their tenet and get to hear from them.
Having business partners for your startup or existing business is excellent. It provides you with access to foreign markets and access to resources like finances and more ideas. It would help if you expanded your network to secure business partners. Also, you need to have excellent communication skills.