09/11/2020 by Jamie Swan 0 Comments
The Power of Partnerships
Have you considered how working with other businesses can contribute to your own success?
We set Beacon Consultant Services up in February 2019, having been involved in compliance, governance, risk and data protection for a number of years.
The aim was to help any business big or small to understand how they can protect the personal data and the information that they process on a daily basis. We want all companies to put these things to the forefront of their mind, so that it is a natural part of peoples thought process and to have employees of companies make decisions around the data they process as if it was their own. Everyone deserves to have their data protected, but there is still a lack of understanding around the rights people have and what companies can and can’t do with the data they hold on their customers and employees.
I have no shame in saying that a lot of the contracts we have worked since we started have come to us through contacts that we have made in previous roles, rather than completely new business, after all ‘who you know’ is a powerful way to gain business. You already have those established relationships and people have seen evidence of the good work you do. But you can only rely on this for so long. Eventually you need to branch outside of that network and be a brand that people want to work with because they align with your ethics, because you make them comfortable that out of the 100’s of companies out there that do the same as you, you are the company that stand out to them as the one they want to invest their hard earned cash into. This is particularly prudent right now during the time we find ourselves in, where many businesses are struggling to stay afloat and need to consider every penny they have wisely.
Building a brand isn’t an easy task. Understanding who your customer is and what their problem is that you are looking to fix is a key place to start, but I also strongly believe that by working together with other businesses, even businesses that plug the same hole that you are trying to fill is extremely valuable. Rather than looking at it from the perspective that you don’t want that other business to succeed as it could impact your contracts, we look at it from the perspective of ‘together we are stronger’. We can help each other grow, develop, we can learn from each other as to what works and what doesn’t to build our brand quicker. It’s not like there are only 1 or 2 businesses out there that need the sort of help we provide, most companies around the world will process sort some of data, whether it be personal, financial, operational or something else altogether, so contracts are out there for all of us to gain.
Even Burger King recently tweeted to ask people to order from McDonald’s saying as part of their message “Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing”. The reason for this was that there are thousands of staff working across all of these fast food chains and many of them may be impacted by the pandemic, so showing compassion to these other chains, regardless of whether they are rivals, demonstrates that although Burger King will be hit, they also want the industry to succeed as a whole. Something that we at Beacon strongly believe, regardless of whether it is us, or another company doing similar work to us that is supporting your business, protecting individuals personal data and other information is vital to the protection of their rights, to keep them secure and free from cyber incidents or misuse of their data. This is ultimately the end goal and why we are here.
There are also always going to be gaps in knowledge for any company that a partnership can help to fill. We speak to clients about their data protection and information security needs, but they may not have an effective CRM system in place and through having a partner we have carefully selected who can offer this, this helps us, helps the company and helps the CRM provider. We also carefully consider the security principle of GDPR and what this means, and although we can provide guidance on the topic, when it gets to the intricacies of solutions required or IT infrastructure needed we would look to rely on a partner who specialise specifically in this type of service. Again, ensuring that we are meeting the customers needs, without getting caught up in the concerns of passing business to another company.
Not only can those partnerships provide us with valuable leads, but they can also provide great learning for us too. Beacon recently hosted a webinar with our trusted IT Partner Accelerate Technologies to inform companies about how to stay data safe in this new age of shifting workforces to home working (which can be viewed on our 'News & Events' page). Not only did those who attending learn from what they heard, so did we, forever looking to develop our knowledge which ultimately helps us to grow and assist our customer base.
Accelerate have said “In working with our clients to identify and deploy security controls and protections, we often hear them talk of gaps in their understanding and obligation to GDPR. We want to build long term relationships with our clients, brought about by trust and the value we can offer them.
Partnering with Beacon strengthens our portfolio of services and allows us to maintain this customer value add by presenting a partner that gives us confidence they will deliver the best result for the customer to the standards we expect”.
Another of our partners Further, who offer end to end digital business solutions have been key in sharing ideas and helping us to develop our digital presence while we in return offer data protection guidance and support. In a cash strapped climate, this approach has been invaluable.
Further have said "We at Further know you can be experts in many fields, but you cannot be an expert in all fields. That is why business partnering is important. Partnering with businesses, in particular ones outside of your field can expand the services you can offer and grow your brand awareness in different sectors. It also it provides opportunities to learn new strategies and open new income streams that you may not have thought of.
Having business partnering is an additional support network for problems you face. Where you have a perceived weakness, they may be able to help. Where you are facing a new challenge, they may have already been through it.
Forging partnerships and building relationships with fellow businesses is vital to the progress of a business in any industry. In today's fast-paced environment, a "do-it-alone" approach is not the best strategy for growth. As the business you partner with grow, so will their network of business partners, and so will you."
We have joined 3 different chambers of commerce over the last couple of years, but one that we have got great value from is the Thame Valley Chamber of Commerce, who host regular networking sessions and different events, creating a great opportunity to speak to all types of businesses and solidify some partnerships with companies who have similar values and ethics to us (you can see our carefully selected partners on our ' Partners' page). Joining the chamber has helped us to grow, to speak to companies about the problems they too are facing during the pandemic and how we can take learnings from each other’s experiences, or to take comfort that we are not alone in feeling that contracts have certainly slowed down due to the current situation.
At Beacon we have really seen the value in partnering and collaborating and will continue to build these networks, we are after all, in this together and together we are stronger.