Remaining Relevant – How a Growing Business Can Remain Relevant in its Partnership

Growth in your business is probably much sought after, and can obviously bring with it many benefits.

But what happens if growth in your business brings about problems with your partnership with a community group – the feeling that the relationship may not be as relevant as before, or that it no longer addresses the needs of your firm?

This Help Sheet sets out to look at problems which may come up in a community business partnership because of growth in your business, and what can be done to address these problems and keep your growing business “relevant” in your partnership with a community group.

Questions and Answers

  • What can we do if our partnership is no longer addressing identified needs or wants?

  • If, for example, your business's focus has shifted due to growth, it may no longer need the publicity it gains through association with its community partner. It may, however, want to gain knowledge or try to gain new customers through referrals from the community group and its members.

    Another example may arise if your business is not providing your community group partner with the partnership benefits it wants, due to your growth or change in focus.

    Once these sorts of problems are identified, partners need to think about how they can realign to ensure the partnership produces benefits. This can include changing partnership aims or shifting the roles of one or both partners.

    Put the new arrangements in writing so that all partners are aware of any new responsibilities and requirements.

    You can refer to the Help Sheets Reviewing Your Partnership or Changing Your Partnership - Business, available at the Community Business Partnerships Brokerage Service section of the Our Community website.

  • What can we do to return our partnership to a genuine “give and take” rather than one partner dominating the other?
    • Review what each of you is bringing to the partnership, and compare what you find with what initial expectations were.

      Review how each partner is benefiting from the partnership, and compare those results with initial expectations.

      Identify the areas where you have failed to reach expectations or surpassed expectations. 

      Try to address any issues raised by this exercise. The Help Sheets Reviewing Your Partnership and Health Check Up – How a Business can Help Keep a Partnership Healthy can help you do this.

  • We are not achieving our community aims anymore – what can we do?
    • Sometimes as a business changes, so do its community aims and expectations, often meaning they are not enjoying the same benefits that were brought by the partnership in its original form.

      If this is the case you need to revisit those community aims. Your group can refer to the Help Sheet Are we Meeting our Community Aims for help in doing this.

      A review of the original aims of both business and community partner will establish whether they are still relevant.  If they are, re-focus your partnership to address them. If not, see whether you can work together to achieve new aims.

For more information on reviewing, changing, growing or checking the health of your partnership, you can refer to a number of Help Sheets available at the partnerships Brokerage Service section of the Our Community website. They include: