A partnership is an agreement where different parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. The partners in HarbourFront may be individuals, businesses, governments, and so on. It is a specific kind of legal relationship formed by agreement between two or more parties to carry on business.
A partnership in business is similar to personal partnerships. A successful business partnership requires not just short-term mutual interest but long-term compatibility.
Entering into a business partnership in HarbourFront can be very exciting. You’ve found someone who shares your vision, works well with you, and has lots of great ideas. To create a partnership business, understand the why of your partner, seek commonality and shared vision, don’t rush the process, write things down.
Be clear on the value you bring to the table. Be honest about why you’re interested in creating a partnership. Understand why your partner is seeking to connect. Best partnerships work because the vision and values are shared as well as passion and enthusiasm. Seal all agreements in writing to avoid messy breakups in future. Contracts preserve relationship, not destroy them.
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Market segmentation is widely defined as being a complex process consisting in two main phases:
- identification of broad, large markets
- segmentation of these markets in order to select the most appropriate target markets and develop Marketing mixes accordingly.
Everyone within the Marketing world knows and speaks of segmentation yet not many truly understand its underlying mechanics, thus failure is just around the corner. What causes this? It has been documented that most marketers fail the segmentation exam and start with a narrow mind and a bunch of misconceptions such as "all teenagers are rebels", "all elderly women buy the same cosmetics brands" and so on. There are many dimensions to be considered, and uncovering them is certainly an exercise of creativity.
The most widely employed model of market segmentation comprises 7 steps, each of them designed to encourage the marketer to come with a creative approach.
STEP 1: Identify and name the broad market
You have to have figured out by this moment what broad market your business aims at. If your company is already on a market, this can be a starting point; more options are available for a new business but resources would normally be a little limited.
The biggest challenge is to find the right balance for your business: use your experience, knowledge and common sense to estimate if the market you have just identified earlier is not too narrow or too broad for you.
STEP 2: Identify and make an inventory of potential customers' needs
This step pushes the creativity challenge even farther, since it can be compared to a brainstorming session.
What you have to figure out is what needs the consumers from the broad market identified earlier might have. The more possible needs you can come up with, the better.
Got yourself stuck in this stage of segmentation? Try to put yourself into the shoes of your potential customers: why would they buy your product, what could possibly trigger a buying decision? Answering these questions can help you list most needs of potential customers on a given product market.
STEP 3: Formulate narrower markets
McCarthy and Perreault suggest forming sub-markets around what you would call your "typical customer", then aggregate similar people into this segment, on the condition to be able to satisfy their needs using the same Marketing mix.
Start building a column with dimensions of the major need you try to cover: this will make it easier for you to decide if a given person should be included in the first segment or you should form a new segment. Also create a list of people-related features, demographics included, for each narrow market you form - a further step will ask you to name them.
There is no exact formula on how to form narrow markets: use your best judgement and experience. Do not avoid asking opinions even from non-Marketing professionals, as different people can have different opinions and you can usually count on at least those items most people agree on.
STEP 4: Identify the determining dimensions
Carefully review the list resulted form the previous step. You should have by now a list of need dimensions for each market segment: try to identify those that carry a determining power.
Reviewing the needs and attitudes of those you included within each market segment can help you figure out the determining dimensions.
STEP 5: Name possible segment markets
You have identified the determining dimensions of your market segments, now review them one by one and give them an appropriate name.
A good way of naming these markets is to rely on the most important determining dimension.
STEP 6: Evaluate the behavior of market segments
Once you are done naming each market segment, allow time to consider what other aspects you know about them. It is important for a marketer to understand market behavior and what triggers it. You might notice that, while most segments have similar needs, they're still different needs: understanding the difference and acting upon it is the key to achieve success using competitive offerings.
STEP 7: Estimate the size of each market segment
Each segment identified, named and studied during the previous stages should finally be given an estimate size, even if, for lack of data, it is only a rough estimate.
Estimates of market segments will come in handy later, by offering a support for sales forecasts and help plan the Marketing mix: the more data we can gather at this moment, the easier further planning and strategy will be.
These were the steps to segment a market, briefly presented. If performed correctly and thoroughly, you should now be able to have a glimpse of how to build Marketing mixes for each market segment.
This 7 steps approach to market segmentation is very simple and practical and works for most marketers. However, if you are curious about other methods and want to experiment, you should take a look at computer-aided techniques, such as clustering and positioning.
With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.
Legal structure of partnership will dictate many decisions as to how the business is run.
Main partnership types are:
- General Partnership: formed when all partners participate in business operations and take mutual responsibility for business’s debt. These offer very little protection for partners from liability.
- Limited Partnership: most often chosen when business partners in HarbourFront are taking an uneven level of involvement in business.
- Limited Liability Partnership: is a structure that limits each individual’s personal financial responsibility.
What’s left unsaid or unplanned often leads to unmet expectations. Partners can clash over countless things.
First, ask yourself do you really need a business partner to build a successful business in HarbourFront? Test the partnership out by tackling a small project together. Business partnership can end bitterly. Be especially careful when partnering with close friends or family members. Thoughtfully plan and prepare for every aspect of partnership in advance so there’s no question about how difficult situations will be handled. Create a partnership agreement with help from a lawyer and an accountant. Agreement should address compensation, roles and responsibilities, exit clauses. Outline your expectations for how you’ll operate your business.
Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.
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Did you know that five of the biggest tech giants viz. IBM, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have recently formed a partnership for the research and development of Artificial Intelligence?
And these market leaders form just the top of the cream. Thousands of startups like Kwiziq, JamieAI, and Verv are blooming across the globe, investing in the development of upcoming AI era. So what is it that all these businesses have found in the potential of this technology that is driving them to hustle? And more importantly, why is it important for your business to participate and adapt to this futuristic technology?
More efficient digital assistance
Machines have since the beginning set themselves as important because of their ability to enhance human efficiency. Let's just assume what change in efficiency can be brought upon when these machines become actually intelligent; when they can make best possible decisions on their own, without being affected by the limiting constraints of human beings? There will be fewer errors, less unpredictable problems, and fewer delays, all of which will have a cumulative effect on the overall efficiency of any system.
Digital marketing at its best
Many companies are already in the process of garnering the potential power of artificial intelligence and are working with intelligent chatbots to enhance their marketing efforts. It is no wonder they have taken this route. Chatbots and other similar AI marketing solutions can take digital marketing to its extreme, where you can solve the queries of your potential customers, create interactive marketing campaigns, and resolve many repetitive and monotonous tasks without having to invest in multiple resources.
When it comes to exploration, biological boundaries of humans have always been considered as the biggest limitation. And it is not just the biological needs that have kept us from exploring inhospitable environments of space or underwater. These limitations are also in the form of our sensory perceptions. There are many wave patterns and frequencies that humans are simply unable to detect, this is why machines like the thermal camera that detects infrared waves have become so important for the seamless exploration even of our immediate environment. Machines with artificial intelligence can remove all these problems with a single stroke.
Wide application scope and new opportunities
As opposed to the most recent technological developments, AI becomes more desirable because of its far-fledging application. Since most of the present technological advances are limited to the technological ground only, the field was losing its significance in other spheres of life. But with AI, such is not the case. Its potential has made it a most sought-after invention in the areas of medical science, financial systems, air transport, heavy mechanical industries, and even art.
Unlike social media, AI is not a booming phase. It is the development of a completely new ecosystem that will change the technology as we know it today. There is no limit to what the future may hold when we come to the peak of AI development when intelligent machines will be working without the biological constraints of human bodies. It will continue to evolve at an exponential rate, solving perhaps, some of the most profound mysteries of the universe.
At present, even with all its advancements, AI can still be considered in its newborn stage, and for all those businesses that aspire to survive and thrive through this transitional shift, it is extremely important for them to adapt.
Addressing the issues upfront will help you better focus on your business later. Set expectations for a successful business partnership. Know your relationship with your business partner. Know your financial roles and viewpoints. Know your exit strategy. Agree on structuring your partnership.