Traditionally businesses have grown through hiring employees, building and acquiring assets, establishing branches and subsidiaries, etc. but with this comes high overhead, segregation of duties, and employees who only know about their own department , their responsibilities and the small picture. I am partial to the small/medium business culture and like being close to the end product and making a direct contribution to the company success. I prefer the flexibility and the speed that a smaller company can move. However, what a small business working alone can do is limited. I have been contemplating growing and expanding through affiliations.
Here is a sample scenario. Our company would market and sell a SAAS product to a specific industry. We would resell a SAAS from Company A, and outsource/resell the IT work to customize the SAAS with Company B and possibly Company C. Our company would have agreements with other individuals/companies with expertise in other industries to market and sell the product. We could sell training directly for the SAAS and/ or outsource/resell the training to Company B and C.
I am interested in experiences, opinions and advice about growing a business through strategic alliances in general from the answers.onstartups.com community. What experiences have you had with this approach? What are examples of successful companies that have used this method to grow? Any advice or points of caution?