Owning a small business can be a frightening prospect involving high levels of risk, but ultimately leading to an unparalleled amount of freedom and independence. One of the best things you can do with that independence, however? Partner with another small business.

Partnering up with another business may not seem like the most glamorous path forward, but it just might be the one that will go the furthest in ensuring long term success. The fact is, you only have so much reach on your own, and the added connections you can make through a strategic partnership with another business.

Through a well thought out partnership, you’ll tap into a larger community and gain a reputation by association. More people inherently will hear about you through your partnership and will already have a positive image of you as a result of the positive image of your partner.

Of course, forming a partnership is easier said than done. In order to form a high quality strategic partnership, you have to be a high quality partner. Although working with another business should help build your brand and extend your reach, you should be able to offer to your partner exactly what you expect to receive.

This starts with knowing who you are, what you offer, and who makes up your audience. You’ll have to be honest with yourself and with potential partners about your potential, and you’ll have to discern whether or not your potential partners are being as honest with you as you are with them.

Ultimately, however, you’re more likely to make it as part of one or more partnerships than you are on your own. While it may not be what you had in mind when you set out to form your own business and brand, odds are, you didn’t envision failure when you set out, either. The following are some of the biggest benefits of forming a strategic partnership.

1) Find New Customers

The most obvious benefit of forming a strategic partnership is that it will introduce your brand to a new audience. The likelihood that your small business will have enough clout on its own to reach a large audience is fairly low, but by partnering up, you’ll immediately gain access to a whole new pool of customers.

Let’s say you make headphones built for the outdoors. While your reach may be limited at first, a partnership with, say, an outerwear brand will give you access to their customers and will positively color their initial experience with your brand.

Your partnership should be a way to connect you to new customers. Take, for example, Wolfie, a search engine designed to find people the best possible deals in their area. Their partnerships with local business owners brought new customers to their business while benefitting the business owners who advertised on their platform.

2) Expand Your Geographic Reach

There aren’t too many small businesses that have a national reach. By virtue of being a small business, your reach is most likely fairly small. Many small businesses are hits in their local communities or among a small niche market, but moving beyond regional boundaries gives you a greater level of both revenue and security.

Expansion is near the top of the list for many executives of businesses of any size. Forming a strategic partnership is one of the most natural and effective ways to move your business into new regions. Find another business out there who has a compatible product to yours, and team up with them in order to bring both of your products to a larger geographic area.

3) Gain Access to New Technologies and Resources

Often, your potential as a small business is limited by your resources. It’s not at all unusual for businesses to be boxed in by the resources they’re capable of utilizing. A strategic partnership with a company that has the technology you need to expand could be the catalyst that spurs the growth you’ve been waiting for.

While no move will assure small business success, forming a strategic partnership will give you access to new regional markets, and extended customer base, potentially more advanced technology, and hopefully and added voice of counsel when you run into difficulties.

Working with a partner may not have been what you initially had in mind when you set out into the world of entrepreneurship, but it could very well be the spark that takes your business to the next level. So when you’re looking for an effective and quick way to expand your business, look to find a high quality strategic partner.