If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Sure, the saying is cliche, but Orlando business partnership lawyers know in many instances, forming strategic alliances with competitors can be just what you need to launch a fresh product or service, dive into a new market or offer your customers a more attractive deal. Ensure it all goes smoothly by working with an experienced Orlando business partnership attorney so that contract terms are clear, and consequences for breach of contract are carefully outlined.
Although the first instinct of any entrepreneur – especially one in a fiercely competitive business landscape like Orlando – is to run circles around the competition, sometimes if everyone is on the same track, the best use of resources is strategic partnership or collaboration. Different than a full-on merger, such an arrangement can take several forms, including:
- Joint ventures;
- Intellectual property licensing agreements;
- Outsourcing agreements;
- Cooperative research.
As long as both sides are on the same page and adhere to solid ethical practices, it can be a huge win-win for both.
Still, because not all companies share procedural practice or core ethical values, having the terms meticulously outlined in an a comprehensive competitor partnership agreement ensures goals and expectations are clearly defined and transparent.
Orlando Partnership Agreements With Competitors: Uber and Mears Shake On It
This type of Orlando competitor partnership agreement recently made headlines when ridshare app giant Uber and taxi company Mears announced they would partner in Orlando. Click Orlando reported the partnership gives Uber customers the opportunity to select a Mears taxi on the Uber app. Just as they would with any Uber driver, riders will get the name of the driver, vehicle type and plate number of the anticipated vehicle.
The partnership agreement shocked the Orlando business community because the taxi company for years aggressively worked to block the rideshare firm’s access to Central Florida. Now, an executive for the taxi corporation said the about-face to partner with its top competitive threat was reached after consideration of the evolving market and ways in which the two companies compliment each other. Uber itself doesn’t have any vehicles or drivers, but rather relies on independent contractors with their own cars. The Mears partnership gives Uber customers more driver and vehicle options. Mears, meanwhile, has lots of vehicles and drivers – as well as its own smartphone apps for iPhone and Android. However, it’s got nowhere near the reach and brand recognition of Uber, something especially valuable in a global tourism hub like Orlando.
Another high-profile good example is Amazon Marketplace, which partners third-party sellers who can use Amazon’s platform to reach more consumers, who placed more trust in Amazon than a small virtually unknown company across the country.
Orlando partnership agreement attorneys know it’s not just huge corporations that can benefit from these arrangements. Many small businesses can get a boost when partnering with a competitor to varying extents.
Orlando Partnership Agreement Lawyers: When to Explore Strategic Competitor Alliance
Of course, businesses do still need to proceed cautiously with strategic competitor partnerships. Some agreements might make sense only for a short time. Others may have staying power. You should discuss these concerns with your Orlando competitor partnership lawyer.
Some examples of scenarios where competitor partnerships make sense may include:
- Joining forces for charity. This is one of the easiest ways to collaborate without actually competing and help a cause important to both firms. You probably won’t need a contract for this, but it can open the door to potentially more engagement down the line.
- Teaming up on a new product. One example would by hybrid products. For instance, One company makes fashion accessories. The other company makes personal technology devices. Why not partner and make a personal technology device that is wearable and fashionable (think Fitbit wearables). Anytime you can offer your target market something unique by teaming with a partner (i.e., piece-of-mind, multiple benefits, more choices, flexibility, convenience/ one-stop, etc.), you may consider a hybrid product or service.
- Working together to expand the market for both. There are likely some market opportunities that neither you nor your competitor are going to be able to tackle all on your own. Combining your strengths to launch a new segment or offer existing products/ services in less time and for the same/ or less money – these are options worth exploring.
If you have questions about whether a strategic business alliance would be beneficial for you, discuss these options with your Orlando business attorney, who can advise you of any potential pitfalls and how to best protect yourself with a good contract.
Contact the Orlando, Florida business attorneys at The Chidolue Law Firm, serving Orlando and Lake Mary, by calling (407) 995-6567 or email us.
Transportation competitors Uber, Mears to partner in Orlando, Nov. 20, 2018, By Emilee Speck, ClickOrlando.com
More Blog Entries:
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR 50/50 PARTNERSHIP FOR A DEADLOCK, Jan. 2, 2017, Orlando Partnership Agreement Attorney Blog