Operating partners play a critical role in the success of equity firms and their portfolio companies. As experts in their field, operating partners provide strategic support and operational guidance to portfolio companies, helping them navigate the challenges of growing a business. While no single person can be an expert in everything, it is important for operating partners to leverage outside domain expertise. Here are three reasons why and how operating partners can do this to benefit their portfolio companies and equity firms:
- Partner with External Experts: Operating partners can bring in additional support to portfolio companies by partnering with external experts, such as industry experts, functional experts, or other specialists. For example, an operating partner working with a SaaS startup may partner with an expert in partnerships and ecosystems to help navigate the right partner relationships and value proposition for growth. By bringing in external experts, operating partners can provide portfolio companies with a broader range of knowledge and experience, which can help them make more informed decisions.
- Network: Operating partners can tap into outside domain expertise by building relationships in specific areas through attending industry events, connecting with contacts, or using social media. Providing direct access to experts is another way to drive value for the portfolio companies. Whether bringing an expert on to present to the portfolio or as authors of thought leadership, operating partners can build a strong support network for their investments.
- Stay Up-to-Date: To effectively advise their portfolio companies, operating partners need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in both their portfolios’ industry and functional areas. Attending conferences, industry publications, and participating in online communities are a few ways to stay up-to-date. Another way is advisory or retainer services that an operating partner can have on-demand access to for specific areas of expertise. Staying up-to-date on emerging trends and opportunities, allows their portfolio companies to stay ahead of the curve and identify potential risks and challenges before they become issues.
PartnerReady is a domain expert service provider that works with both equity firms and direct clients to bring forward domain expertise in ecosystems and partnerships. Helping a portfolio company understand the ecosystem around their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) can drive quicker paths to revenue and growth. A strategic partnership approach benefits both the portfolio company and the overall success of the equity firm. PartnerReady provides these services through fractional leadership and advisory services.