Monthly Archives: March 2015

Non-Disclosure Agreements And You!

A cartoon man and woman hold up a sign that says "Non-Disclosure Agreement!"

Using Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) is a smart move for any small business owner. As you run your business, you’ll work with a variety of people in a variety of contexts, and you may have to share confidential information with them.  You’ll want assurance that the other party won’t share that information with anyone else.  Situations where this concern arises include ones where:

  1. Your employees have access to company secrets, intellectual property, future strategic plans, customer pricing, and many other pieces of information that you don’t wish to have shared.
  2. You’ve shared financial information and future plans with business partners or investors.
  3. You’ve given an accounting firm your financial information, including the debt and equity information, so that they can do your taxes.
  4. You’ve shared information with suppliers on pricing or marketing tactics to be a good strategic partner.
  5. Anyone else with whom you share information with that you want to keep from public knowledge. 

Consider using non-disclosure agreements any time you’re sharing confidential information, especially if keeping that information secret is crucial to your success – if your baking tastes better because you use an ingredient that no one else does, or your product lasts longer because you use a manufacturing technique that no one else has thought of, you don’t want that secret getting out so that other people can also start benefiting from what makes you superior in your market! 

Learn More About Non-Disclosure Agreements and Download a Template 

Thanks to Cobalt Lawyers  and ClauseHound. The information provided may not be relevant to your jurisdiction, this information is not a substitute for obtaining legal counsel, nor does it create a lawyer-client relationship with you, the reader.

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Strategic Partnerships and How to Build Them!

strategic partnerships

Strategic partnerships are critical to any small business’ success. Whether your small business is for profit or non-profit, developing solid partnerships is a good use of time and resources.

Watch our Building Strategic Partnerships webinar to learn:

  1. Whether you need to build a partnership
  2. How to determine who of your potential partners are the best to approach about joining forces
  3. How to determine when you are ready to form the partnership
  4. The secrets to maintaining a healthy partnership.

You’re best served by slowly walking through the above stages, paying special attention to the last one.  Keeping your strategic partnership healthy and happy is very important!

When Do You Need to Build a Strategic Partnership?

Consider partnering with someone else when:

  1. They can provide a service or product that is an adjacency to those that you provide
  2. The partnership reduces your risk
  3. Their service or product could add customer value to your offering
  4. Partnering up could help you (and them, ideally!) grow at a faster rate. 

Do you see how partnering with someone could be the best thing for your small business?

What Makes a Good Partner?

Evaluate your potential partners carefully, as you’re trusting them with your precious business! A good partner should:

  1. Need you as much as you need them!
  2. Have leaders that get along with you, and a similar business structure
  3. Have a similar corporate structure
  4. Leave you with a good “gut feel”.

After you meet with a potential partner, ask yourself whether you could, with the right assurances in place, trust them with your vital business information and whether you have confidence in their ability to do what they say they will. You should have both trust and confidence to proceed.

Maintaining Healthy Strategic Partnerships 

Nuture your partnerships to keep them healthy and of maximum benefit to all parties involved by:

  1. Doing planning sessions with your partners at least quarterly
  2. Blending your tools, processes, and technology when possible
  3. Communicating regularly
  4. Determining how all parties involved enjoy the benefits and assume the costs involved in partnering.

Partnerships have perks, so keep them healthy! Email Carla at [email protected] or Sarah at [email protected] with your comments or questions. 

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