Partnerships can make much-needed resources available to a men’s shed.
Partnerships, partnerships, partnerships
This has been a catch cry in business for decades and should be no exception for a men’s shed. Today the quickest road to success for any organisation is to work with others, not alone.
The economy today, is too volatile and too hostile for most because there are so many changes taking place and impossible for a single organisation of any sort to be able to keep up. “It is just too hard doing it by yourself”.
Good partnerships will help your men’s shed to not only get off the ground but to grow sustainably and deliver worthwhile benefits to both the members and their families as well as the community.
This might sound more like a marriage than a business relationship, but a partnership involves external businesses and organisations, large and small who can help your men’s shed while receiving some benefit for their organisation. This is not to be confused with business partners who are shareholders in a business.
You will need partnerships you can trust
Who will have the necessary resources and experience and who will be there when you need them. Your partnerships can become intimately involved with the operation and support of your men’s shed so it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.
Good partnerships will help your men’s shed, by managing complex activities you are unable to handle well or don’t want to handle. They can also provide marketing clout, technology infrastructure, advice on practical management issues and even provide you with access to equipment and finance.
Partnerships will not only guarantee to save you time and money in the short and long-term but will add a degree of stability and help you to exceed everyone’s expectations.
“What I like about partnerships is the way they can bridge a men’s shed with the real world. Sometimes people see these as two separate things, and to be able to establish a bridge between them is very exciting”. Peter Sergeant
There is a saying that if you want to be successful today, “focus on well-chosen partnerships, partnerships, and more partnerships”. Partnerships can range from a single person with expert knowledge to businesses both inside and outside your community and even corporations and governments at all levels. Y
You could have multiple partnerships and they could be with anyone from a major multinational corporation to a small business next door. It could be as simple as a handshake, ranging through licensing agreements to a long-term formal partnership agreement.
Obviously, there will be a high level of trust as there is with any new partnership. However, it is always advisable to have a written partnership agreement that is reviewed at least once a year as circumstances change. Even a simple exchange of letters can avoid the risk of a breakdown.
Success and even survival are enhanced by having active partnerships
You achieve more success by relinquishing more of your stand-alone independence. So, whatever you do to help build your critical mass of people in and around your men’s shed should be done sooner rather than later.
A Partnership is a great way to grow a men’s shed, they can help you to:
- Obtain capital and other resources.
- Share and exchange expert knowledge and information.
- Give you access to technology and technology support.
- Share costs including offices, factory, and equipment.
- Build critical mass to bring about efficiency and effectiveness.
- Enhance marketing efforts through market access and branding.
- Develop new products and services beyond the members capacity.
- Share the risks.
- Do research and development work.
- Give you the capacity to address larger opportunities for the men’s shed.
It is a way of a men’s shed that is under-resourced, can have access to capital, people and other needed resources that would not otherwise be available to them.
With many partnerships could mean the difference between success and failure. A partnership with excess capacity and resources can be of great assistance in getting your men’s shed into a valuable and sustainable position, more quickly.
Men’s sheds today are much too complex to go it alone. It is a fading option as we move from the ‘double garages’ to something more substantial that can really service the members and the community.
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What you should look for in Partnerships will depend on what your men’s shed is trying to achieve. The one thing to look for is having similar visions for the men’s shed and congruent values.
Leverage your strengths and opportunities for better results, with good partnerships. Put your men’s shed into a state of readiness (Partner Ready) for when an opportunity to form a partnership presents itself. Put yourself in a position to act.
When I talk about partnerships, many people are unsure how to react and just feel uncomfortable with the idea. “Our men’s shed is too small for partnerships”, or “I haven’t the time or resources to set up partnerships”. These are common reactions, and all I can say is if you don’t have a positive attitude towards partnerships, seek advice.
Partnerships who work together should be able to actually work together. While just a name of a business or corporation can add credibility to you men shed, there are so much more ways of working together to be discovered.
A successful partnership allows you to recognise your own weaknesses, and draw on a partnerships strengths, without being uncomfortable about your vulnerability.