You and a key vendor (Vendor A) conclude that if you work together to create a tailored version of a product/service, both companies will be able to make a lot more money.  So you both invest the time, money, and effort to do that and it starts to pay off. You also agree that Vendor A can’t sell the new product to your competitors in return for your investment in them and your marketing/sales efforts to bring them more business.

Was this a loose strategic alliance?  Or was this a firm joint venture?

Here’s the test.

Your business does well.  You are now attracting even more demanding clientele and you are wondering if Vendor A can keep up with you and your new larger clients. A competitor of Vendor A has approached you and Vendor B’s product seems a lot better. Plus Vendor B’s commitment to growth seems a lot stronger than Vendor A’s.

Should you and can you switch vendors? Ethically? Legally? Practically?

What did your written agreement with Vendor A say about that?


Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST™. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions.  Her midsized BtoB clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. She owns and operates a suite of companies that help privately held midsized companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® through opportunity & resource analysis, 4 approaches to strategic planning, executive advisory services, growth financing, and targeted search.  2012 is Ambler’s 8th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer syndicated on line talk show that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. An archive of over 300 interviews is available at She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at   

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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Aldonna Ambler was my business coach for the past year and she is outstanding! Anyone having the opportunity to work with her will be far better for it.

John Kriger
Kriger Consulting

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