This is the age of the startup. The nimble and innovative nature of startups have enabled them to harness the potential of technology, in order to solve problems through unique offerings. The ability of tech startups to easily and continuously adapt and evolve has given them the best chance to, not only survive, but to thrive. As a result, tech startups are shaking up the business world and large corporations are noticing.

One of the strategies that is quickly gaining popularity in the business sphere, is the creation of strategic partnerships between startups and larger, more well-established companies. In highly competitive business markets, it can be easy for tech startups to view big businesses solely as rivals. However, when appropriate partnerships are built, developed and maintained, it can be mutually beneficial for the parties involved. The hunger that tech startups have to grow and achieve a business model that is repeatable and scaleable, coupled with the tried and true methods of an established business, can help to strengthen both their positions in the market.

Benefits For Startups
When tech startups enter into strategic partnerships with larger corporations, it can be extremely fruitful for young businesses, and provide them with the right tools to grow.

  • Credibility & Trust In The Marketplace
    Big businesses have already clearly established their position in the market and carefully cultivated their reputation over a number of years, so when they work alongside a tech startup, some of this goodwill flows onto the reputation of the startup. This enhances the startup's credibility and boosts their reputational capital, as they have the backing of a more verified source. Credibility is extremely valuable currency in business, as it shows that your tech startup has something valuable to offer, it's reliable, and won't just be another flash in the pan. This encourages clients and customers to trust your product/business, and creates the potential for improved conversion.

  • Access To Resources & Expertise
    Another benefit for startups entering into partnerships with larger corporations, is that they will have access to more resources, as well as specialised knowledge and expertise. As a startup, it can be difficult to achieve growth on a large-scale, especially when the business is still in its early stages, run by a small team and subject to greater financial restrictions. Partnering with a large corporation can help circumvent these issues, and provide tech startups with the opportunity to really get the ball rolling.

  • Expand Into Broader markets
    Tech startups can also benefit from working with more well-established corporations, as they can tap into markets and customer-bases that they have already successfully captured. Since these big businesses have already done the hard yards in terms of doing market research, startups are able to take advantage of this knowledge and enhance their appeal to a more wider audience. Growth and expansion is the name of the game for most startups, so partnering with big business can help fast-track this process.

Benefits For Big Business
Although it may seem as though tech startups are the main winners in these strategic partnerships, big businesses can also benefit significantly from collaborations.

  • Access To New Customers
    Startups also have their own customer-bases that big businesses can expand into. The customer-bases of tech startups tend to be tech-savvy, 'thought leaders' that are open to taking risks. This means that it will be a relatively easy market to transition into, as they will be receptive to trying out the service or offering of the larger company. Accessing the customers of the tech start up will help the larger corporation tap into a new revenue stream, allow the larger corporation to continue to grow, and prevent them from stagnating.

- Innovation, Innovation and Innovation -
Innovation is at the core of every startup. The small-scale that startups work on allows them to keep their ear to the ground and pivot quickly when changes need to be made. For big businesses innovation and adaptation is much harder to achieve, due to the more rigid structures and procedures in place. Innovation has become such a key ingredient in the survival of  any business in the modern world, that partnering with a startup can help larger corporations be more responsive to their environment and the ever-changing nature of technology.

- Enhanced Reputation
With partnerships, it is inevitable that the reputation of one party will influence how the other party is perceived. Tech startups tend to have a reputation for being creative 'game changers' that are at the forefront of innovation. While, larger companies tend to be viewed with more suspicion due to their 'corporate' status and size. So, when big businesses enter partnerships with tech startups, this can help to revamp their public image by appearing more current and attune with the needs of the market.

Strategic Partnerships
In Australia, there has been an increasing number of large corporations recognising the importance of engaging with tech startups. More and more strategic alliances are being built, in order to capitalise on the complementary strengths that tech startups and larger corporations possess.
One prominent example is Australia Post.
When you think of Australia Post, often the first thing that comes to mind is snail mail. However, this very simplistic idea of Australia Post does not encapsulate what Australia Post has evolved to become. Australia Post has now diversified its portfolio, whilst staying true to its roots. For example, Australia Post's expansion into offering eCommerce solutions, supply chain solutions, and digital identity and payment services.
One of Australia Posts's significant endeavours to remain relevant in today's increasingly digitised world, is the establishment of an Accelerate program. Australia Post Accelerate is a program dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start or scale small businesses, and connect to new customers, through the provision of funding, resources and Australia Post assets. Australia Post Accelerate is focused particularly on partnering with tech startups that align with one or more of their three areas of collaboration - eCommerce, trusted services (i.e. online payments and digital identification), and the creation of smarter communities and work.
Some of Australia Post's recent startup ventures include, Tiger Pistol's Social AdMate, Spawnit's Brandwrapped and Workfast.

- Social AdMate
Creating and launching successful social media campaigns can be difficult for small businesses, due to the limitations that they may have in terms of resources and specialised knowledge in this realm. This need for guidance in navigating social media campaigns, spurred Australia Post and  Tiger Pistol to collaborate and create the Social AdMate platform. The purpose of Social AdMate is to help small businesses develop and manage social media advertising campaigns that are tailored to their needs and fit within their budget. With a primary focus on Facebook and Instagram, small businesses are assigned a dedicated accounts manager to help them increase their exposure and improve their sales potential. Social AdMate also allows small businesses to view and track the results of their campaign in one easy place, which enables troubleshooting to occur almost as soon as issues are identified. Social AdMate provides small businesses with the expertise to run effective Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns that will deliver results and help these small businesses grow faster.

- BrandWrapped
BrandWrapped is also another venture created through Australia Post's partnership with startups, namely Spawnit. Harnessing Australia Post's extensive expertise on package delivery and order tracking capabilities, as well as Spawnit's prowess in developing software that automates design and publishing, has allowed them to build BrandWrapped. BrandWrapped provides businesses with the ability to create bespoke packaging that will provide 'a memorable unboxing experience'. As a small business it can be difficult for them to gain a competitive advantage when competing in markets with more well-established players. BrandWrapped's simple, yet novel solution to this problem has helped businesses generate customer loyalty by providing a personal touch that cannot be easily replicated.

- Workfast
Australia Post has also collaborated with Workfast to help provide businesses with flexible workers via an on demand platform. Workers are crucial for the effective operation of any business/project, so when understaffing occurs (i.e. unexpected absences, annual leave and increased  business demand) it can have a significant impact on productivity. Australia Post has partnered with Workfast to provide businesses with access to quality temp workers with a range of skills to fill their deficit in man hours. Australia Post has lent its marketing expertise and trusted household name to expose Workfast's labour hire services to a broader, nation-wide market.

Are you an employer interested in using Workfast's labour hire services to help keep your business moving? Contact us at Workfast on 1300 824 403 or click here to send us a staff request form.