When many businesses are just starting out, you think you have to do everything yourself. Making sales, managing inventory, marketing to customers, creating a website, keeping track of financial information… and that’s just before lunch! But it’s important to remember that there are other businesses out there that compliment yours, and it can be a wonderful relief to build relationships and create partnerships to help your business (and theirs) grow.
How can I create partnership opportunities?
So glad you asked! There are actually many different ways to cultivate partnerships with other businesses. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Exchange Advertising – If you own a shop that sells dance wear, find local dance studios and offer to trade advertising with them. Hang up a flyer for your business at their studio, and promote their business in your shop. For every business there are complimentary businesses that could benefit from building advertising relationships (Dog walkers and pet stores, contractors and local hardware stores, the list goes on and on).
- Offer Incentives – One of the best ways to grow your business is to offer incentives to people (or other businesses) for sharing your information with friends and family. Referrals are one of the best ways to get new business, and by giving a little back to those doing the referring, they feel like their opinions matter, and more importantly they feel appreciated.
- Barter – Money can be tight when starting up a new business; sometimes it is best to look for relationships where you can barter for goods or services. If you have a dog walking service, and you know someone who offers tailoring services, perhaps you can offer to walk their dog in exchange for getting you work pants hemmed. This is a really basic example, but can definitely be applied in a lot of cases. Many people will be open to the idea of exchanging goods and services if they see the value of what you are doing. Just be sure that if it is a long-term agreement (for example, you will probably be doing a lot more dog walking if someone is helping you design your website!), that you create a written contract. That way the terms are clearly defined, and neither party feels taken advantage of.
Did you know we have a partnership program? If you’d like more information, or to become one of our partners, give us a call at 844-4QBOOKS. (844) 472-6657.