Take someone else’s business! Everyone is doing it! Don’t freak out. I don’t want you to read this introduction, click the X and run over to your competitor’s page to shark all of their clients. That is not what I mean. We’re not really stealing – as you’re going to see! A pivotal marketing technique to expand your marketing net is through business partnerships and getting their clients in the door as your own. Getting networked with local businesses can help you gain insight into other business structures, have a companion as you navigate the ropes of business and allow for utilization of existing marketing networks and established business relationships to your gain.
Will working with another business help me?
YES! If you handle it correctly, but we’re going to get to how to appropriately handle the situation in a bit. First, it will expand your reach farther than your own marketing can. It is like having your own marketing team – and you don’t have to build the credibility and familiarity of the business as they’ve already done this in the community! Consider this. If you are approaching a brick-and-mortar business they have a physical presence in the community. I’m willing to bet they already have a marketing budget and are actively in the surrounding community marketing. Second, it will lower your marketing costs (or at least stretch your dollar!) Think about it! These people are marketing to an established clientele FOR you. Instead of reinventing the wheel elsewhere you are going to be able to push the envelope of marketing without having to increase your costs! Lastly, shows goodwill to local business owners if you are willing to reciprocate the marketing relationship to help YOUR clients become their clients/customers as well!
How can I make sure this is a success?
Make sure you’re working with them, not just taking from them. Stay on top of getting fresh marketing materials to them instead of them having to hound you (or forget you) for more. Also make sure you’re reciprocating the arrangement, not just take and not to the business in return. Another way to make it even sweeter is to offer a referral incentive. Perhaps giving a kick-back to the business who sends referrals. You can do this by percentage or flat fee. But let us not forget the legalities of referral fees and a referral relationship! *If you offer a referral fee make sure you follow these steps:
- Don’t forget to use a Referral Fee Agreement to clearly outline the relationship between you and the business. A bad relationship will only hurt. A protected business will clear any misunderstandings and lead to a higher probability of success.
- Depending upon the circumstances of how the reference is given disclosure of the referral fee arrangement to the client may be required. See more of the FTC Guidelines Here.
Lastly, make sure you’re working with a business who has a reputation you’re willing to attach to yours. No sense in partnering if you aren’t willing to adopt their reputation – because once your name is associated, then so is the reputation.
Business Partnership Examples
- Children Boutiques
- Birthing Centers/Hospitals
- Pediatricians/Obstetrician offices
Women’s Photographer (boudoir, glamour, beauty)
- Fitness Centers
- Massage Therapists
Need more help facilitating business partnerships?
MarketingMadness can help walk you through – check it out here!