Written by Portia White
It’s not always easy to seek out and develop productive partnerships in business. Some may even wonder, what's the point of partnerships and why would I want to take time and energy away from my business or company, to work with someone else? Partnerships in business (THAT ARE STRATEGIC) can be advantageous in many ways. For clarity, this article is not about traditional business partnerships, such as Limited or Limited Liability Partnerships, but this article will share why partnerships are important and some simple partnership rules to live by. 1) A strategic partnership uses the strategy of working with other businesses that can help you "cast a wider net," by increasing your customer base and possibly expanding services that you offer. 2) A strategic partnership often provides your employees with additional opportunities in both their current field and a related field, professional development and training/education at no additional expense to your business. 3) A strategic partnership will allow the person in the driver's seat to view things from a fresh perspective and become receptive to new trends and ideas in the field. 4) A strategic partnership has the potential to increase business profit margin while decreasing expenses. 5) Overall, business partnerships can be extremely helpful in better serving customers by combining employees skills and tapping in on the partner's expertise. However, through a sixteen-year partnership between Louisville Metro Parks and the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, that is exactly what’s being offered in our centers. For clarity, Metro Parks has been no slouch in developing and implementing wonderful arts programs, but for maximum potential, partnerships and collaborations with community agencies and organizations is the way to go! Through the Kentucky Center’s ArtsReach program, Metro Parks has had more than 500 community center staff receive training in how to successfully program the arts. By taking part in hands-on arts workshops, learning about the plethora of resources in our community, experiencing grant writing and even receiving a non-competitive, non-matching grant to create an arts program for their community center, Metro Parks centers have gone from primarily an all-sports landscape to offering programs that speak to the whole child or whole person. In return, the Kentucky Center addresses one of its goals: of bringing the arts to underserved communities and the community at large. On any given fall day, you can find several of our 16 community centers offering short-term programs funded through Kentucky Center’s ArtsReach program. From Flamenco & Hip-Hop dance to culinary arts and creative writing, youth and adults get to immerse themselves in the arts under the guidance of professional artists, all free of cost. Metro Parks centers have hosted master classes and workshops taught by nationally and internationally known artists; exhibited visual art created by center youth throughout the community; provided their constituents with tickets to performances at no, or low cost ($3 per ticket), showcased talented youth in an annual performing arts showcase held every spring at The Kentucky Center for the Arts, all due to this working partnership. Three tips Jim Reynolds Asphalt & Maintenance uses to build successful partnerships: • Understanding your role and understanding the role(s) of your partners • Communicating on a consistent basis • Creating clear goals and outcomes Jim Reynolds Asphalt & Maintenance, has forged engaging and successful partnerships with Kentucky Derby Festival, Kroger Corporation, Inc. and many others. Additionally, in the effort to think “outside of the box,” Jim Reynolds has felt it important to partner with arts organization, Genesis Arts Kentucky, Inc. and community organization, Black Girls Conquer All. Contact us here for more information on our strategic partnership opportunities.