Do you collaborate? I’m sure you do, maybe even in more ways than you think. Collaboration and joint ventures are very effective marketing tools and they can be very low-cost or even free.
First and foremost collaborating gives you a reason to network. Step outside of your office, or comfort zone and meet new people. What are the businesses in your area up to? How are they expanding and improving? What new initiatives are happening around you?
If you’re online based, you can do this too. Attend online meet-ups and gatherings, converse via social media. Seeking collaboration forces you to expand your circle of associates. This is always a good thing. Chances are you’ll meet people that you can easily work with and some that aren’t a good fit. That’s ok; the relationship building is still very beneficial.
Another benefit of collaboration is that it often introduces you to a new market. For instance, an online bow boutique in our area recently partnered with an area salon and dance studio to carry their products. This immediately increases her local exposure. And, it introduces her products to those who may not frequent social media, or be too young to do so. It also will increase her sales because now she is more available to impulse buyers who want cash and carry items.
Collaboration is also a way to improve your reputation. Even if you are known to be a stellar business woman, this can still be beneficial. What is better than one stellar business women but two of them! When you seek out potential partners, keep this in mind. Be picky and search for businesses that hold them to the same high standards that you do.
When you are entertaining partnership ideas, be sure to think outside of the box. How can you be more creative? How can you maximize the benefits? What can you do to make your arrangement more unique and appealing? Think about these questions as they relate to you, your potential partner and your customers.
Small businesses generally have small marketing budgets. It is great when they can work together and get more for their money. When two businesses work to get the word out, exposure automatically doubles. However, as with any agreement, always proceed with caution and follow your gut instinct. If you don’t feel as though it is really a good fit, don’t pursue it. And, it is always advisable to get all agreements in writing.
Happy partnering! Feel free to share some of your creative partnership ideas in the comments!