Is Your Company the Fighter Big Corporations Need?
The questions you should ask yourself before seeking to form Strategic Partnerships with large corporations are: Do I have a solution that a corporation would say is valuable to them? Do I sell my products and services the way my target corporate client buys it? Do I have a solution that my customer - a corporate client - would say they value, and am I offering my product and service the way they buy it - not am I selling it the way I want to sell it? Am I offering it the way they buy it; the way they go to market to get it? To further expound on these questions, also consider the following: “Can I demonstrate that I am the exception and I can do better than what my competition is doing?”
Is your company the fighter big corporations need? What do I mean by that you may ask? This really and truly falls under the category of if you continue to do what you've always done, then you're going to get what you've always gotten.
Big corporations push themselves to look for new ways of doing things that end up becoming more cost effective in terms of generating more revenue, lowering costs, increasing profitability -- the same as what you should be doing in your company. It’s less about are they using the same people and doing what they've always done. It's more ofdo they have a stable set of suppliers, contractors and vendors that can deliver continuous improvement to their organization?
For example, if a buyer bought an item for a dollar today, can they buy it for 97 cents tomorrow? If the total cost is a dollar, then can I bring the total cost down to 95 cents? The price might actually go up from 75 cents to 80 cents, but the total cost went from a dollar to 95 cents. We're going to talk a lot more about total cost a little later on, but what I want you to take from the example is the concept of what is the approach that you as a supplier, as a potential provider of goods and services to a large corporation need to bring to the table. That approach is a fresh way of looking at things. You must get your company into a position where you have a fresh way of looking at the problem you solve -- so that your size, your skillset, your efficiency, your knowledge of the business allow for the exact same job to be done at lower cost. This is a huge value for a large corporate client.
The reality is that because diverse suppliers have different life experiences, we see the world differently, so we challenge the way things have always been done. We always challenge the status quo. We always think there's got to be a better way. If we do this the same way everybody else has done it, then we’re not going to get any farther ahead, so we’ve got to do something differently than the way everybody has done it. It's in our DNA to approach things differently. “There's got to be a better way to do something” is exactly the skillset that large corporations are looking for and, quite frankly, that they need.
Without innovation, we'd all still have Ford Model T automobiles. We would never have gotten airbags, antilock brakes, power steering. We'd still have the Model T and auto manufacturing would have never changed. It's almost like the rubber band. There has not been a whole lot of innovation in the rubber band since one of the first ones were made. I mean, yes they come in different sizes, but they do pretty much the same thing. But that's about it. Cars do different things. Airplanes do different things. Televisions do different things. Cell phones, my goodness, consider the first cell phone compared to what we have right now. I mean, just innovation on top of innovation on top of innovation.
I'll give you an example. One of the companies that I used to buy from was a chemical company and what was interesting about this chemical company was there were a whole host of chemical distributors out there, but this company was smaller, it was a woman-owned business. She just all of a sudden said, you know, there's got to be a better way to bring products in at lower cost. There's got to be a way to blend product on-site. There's got to be a way to do a whole host of things regarding chemicals that nobody's doing. That was an innovation that she brought to the market. And hers is one of the largest chemical distribution companies in the US. She started her business with only $5,000 in her pocket and her company is now a nine-figure company, and growing.
I’ll give you an additional example from my company. We were pursuing a large contract and we saw where there were innovations that we had that could work within the target company's accounting system. They had these huge enterprise resource planning or ERP systems - things like SAP and other big accounting systems. There are lot of rules involved in those, but those rules don't often coincide with what a big customer needs, so one of the things that we were able to do was just say “Hey, we still have simple processes. We can take what our big partner does and make it simpler so that it fits in with their processes”.
This is the kind of innovative thinking that will help you land lucrative contracts with large corporations. In conclusion, ensure that you have a viable proposal that will reduce cost and increase profitability when you solicit contracts from large corporations.