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Strategy

Seeking Strong Partnerships

Strong partnerships with local entities are key to Roll Forward, a locally minded shopping app that benefits customers and businesses. Founder Don Shafer shares how partnerships have made his company successful.

By Sony Hocklander | Photo courtesy of Don Shafer

Nov 2016

Tip 1: Seek Partnerships Over Bigger Profit

Shafer noticed partnering with a business often increases the success of both companies by adding more customers, opportunities and overall revenue. “I’m always looking at the fastest way to get to market and get as many customers as I can, and if that means sharing in the profits, I’m all about that,” he says. “We all make a little bit less, but our pie is getting so much bigger.”

Tip 2: Get Local Businesses on Board

You don’t always need to go to the big businesses. “By partnering together, [locally owned banks, credit unions and small businesses] can form an alliance that allows them to bring to market a program like Roll Forward (now known as Towny) that even the largest mega-banks and Fortune 500 retail businesses won’t be able to stop,” Shafer says. Local businesses have an added incentive of reaching more customers. 

Tip 3: Communicate Frequently

“Ninety-five percent of all issues with any partnership boils down to lack of communication,” Shafer says. “Both parties must be vigilant about being sure each is listening and clearly understanding what the other is trying to communicate.” Mary Guccione, the app’s representative, meets with partnering businesses every month to create relationships.