Congratulations! You’ve started your company, launched your product, and now you’re ready to share it with the world. There’s one problem though – you don’t have the time, budget, or skills to get your product to market efficiently and effectively.
The solution: Business partnerships.
Business partnerships connect you with existing companies that have the tools and audience to help you grow. These organizations have spent years building their reputation. Aligning with them in a smart way will enable you to tap into that reputation and give you the tools you need to thrive in a new market.
Let’s take a closer look at how business partnerships can get you well on your way to reaching your long-term goals.
Types of Partnerships
Before you dive into the partnership pool, you need to know what type of connections make sense for your business growth. There are three areas where you can align your company with other organizations to reach new customers and fuel your success.
What if your distributor promoted your business for you? When you work with a business that already has an established audience and large list size, they can
Distributors want to get your products into as many hands as possible. They do the heavy lifting for you to increase sales. It’s a win-win. You have a distributor eager to sell your product to their already in-tune audience, while you bring in more sales, customers, and profits from their hard work.
Sound too good to be true? Here are a few examples of popular distributors you might have heard of who are doing this for their partners already:
- Udemy sells courses and has quickly become the go-to resource to find these classes.
- ProductHunt promotes up and coming products.
- AppSumo promotes helpful SaaS products.
Look within your niche to find the major influencers. Then, partner with these influencers to distribute your product or service to their already existing large audience.
Promotions are a natural part of selling your product. Partner with other businesses who can help promote what you sell and you’ll cast a wider net.
Promotional partners are different than distributors. These are the people who send potential customers to your website, webinar, or newsletter list to sign up and eventually buy.
Having promotional partners will help you cast a wider net. Here’s an example of how this can work effectively in your business.
If you have a webinar you’re using to promote your new book, you want to have as many people in attendance and on the list to receive the recording as possible. If you choose a new partner who has a list size of 10,000 to help you promote your webinar, chances are you’ll receive about 10% of that list signed up. 1,000 people register, but then only 500 will actually attend. Of those in attendance, 10 will become customers. If you sell your product for $500, you’ll get $5,000 of new revenue plus 1,000 new leads from your promotional partner.
This approach takes very little work on your end and is highly profitable moving forward.
Your partnerships don’t have to be directly related to your day-to-day operations. Partnering with nonprofit organizations or causes specific to your core value can also have a tremendous impact on your business growth.
Customers love to see companies give back. Here are a few ways you can do this in your small business.
- Sponsor a local charity event
- Give a portion of every sale to nonprofit
- Offer raffle prizes as a fundraiser for local organizations
The exposure you get from working with charitable organizations is often difficult to measure but highly worth the expense. One company that saw tremendous success from this was RoadID. This company was a sponsor in a large bike race with 7,500 participants. They used the event, which was filled with their target audience, to offer discounts, engage with the participants, and align their brand with a good experience and cause. Now, RoadID can be seen sponsoring or participating in hundreds of events across the country.
Find the social cause that makes the most sense for your business. Align yourself with the event and engage the audience. Your brand will automatically be associated with a fun and socially good cause, making it stand out from the competition.
Advantages of Business Partnerships
You might have an idea of the type of business partnership you’d like to work with, but what are the advantages? Is it worth your efforts?
Working with the right partners can have a tremendous impact on your overall growth. Here are five of the top advantages to finding strategic partners and using them to market your brand.
1. Easier Access to New Audiences
Companies spend years growing an audience. Through content, advertising, and lead nurturing, businesses gradually build a strong list of interested customers and prospects.
As a business, you have a unique opportunity to tap into these audiences through strategic partnerships.
By working with a company closely aligned with what you sell, you can reach a highly targeted group of individuals. When your partner promotes your brand, you instantly earn the trust of the existing audience, making it easier to grow your own base of prospects and customers. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on advertising and promotions, you get easy access to an existing audience, building your own list.
2. Market Faster
When you utilize a promotional strategic partner, you get your product out to market faster. People hear about your brand faster than if you go it alone. People learn about what you sell faster than if you employ traditional advertising. Your customers find you faster because you’ve worked with a brand they’re already familiar with and pay attention to regularly. Overall, you reach buyers quicker than if you tried to do all of your business building alone.
3. Leverage Another Brand’s Reputation
There are powerhouse companies in every field. What these companies recommend immediately comes with clout. People trust these businesses because of the reputation they’ve built.
As a strategic partner, you can tap into the years of reputation building to boost your own brand image. Leverage the positive image in the marketplace to create a stronger impression on new and potential customers. As the partner promotes your product, service, or company more, your own reputation will grow by leaps and bounds.
4. Fill Any Competency Gaps
You can’t do it all alone. As much as you’d like to know everything about everything, you don’t. And you shouldn’t.
By forming strategic partnerships, you can fill any competency gaps. This takes a burden off your business’s plate. More importantly, it ensures that each task is deployed in the best, most effective manner. For example, if you’re an expert in building vegetable planters but hate the idea of marketing your business, partnering with a marketing firm to help you reach new customers helps. You expand faster by never missing any opportunities. With this type of partner, you’re always sure that you’re sending the right message to the market.
5. Be More Competitive
Every business has competition. It’s healthy and means there is demand. However, to beat the competition and to attract a larger share of the market, partnerships can help.
Partnerships make you more competitive. You get more exposure, offer up a better product or service and position your business more strategically in the marketplace. No matter how long you’ve been around, partnerships enable you to grow faster with a stronger competitive advantage.
Working With Partners for Business Growth
Okay, you’re sold! You’re ready to jump into as many partnerships as possible so you can realize explosive business growth with minimal investment.
Before you sign on the dotted line, consider the type of relationship you’re entering. Is it helpful for your long-term business goals? Will it truly work for you?
Start your new partnerships off on the right foot with these critical first steps.
Clarify Your Goals
Before your partner can help you grow, they need to know what type of growth you’d like to see. Without clarifying your goals, you make it difficult for your partner to help you.
Make it clear what you’re trying to accomplish. This will guide your partner to know how and when to talk about your business. Clarify your goals and show your partner how they fit in. The better you can do this, the better help they’ll be to your overall growth.
Make Your Partner’s Job Easy
Your partner has their own business to grow. They cannot focus on growing yours in addition to their own. Although they’re happy to help and look forward to positioning their company with yours, you must make it as easy as possible for them to help you.
Give your partner marketing materials they can use to promote your products. Offer demos to their customers to make it easier to close the sale. No matter what you do, make the job of your partner as easy and straightforward as possible. Doing this will ensure you get the maximum exposure.
Make it Worthwhile
In the end, every partnership should benefit both parties.
Focus on how your business will help your partner’s growth too. The more you can show your business partner that you’re watching out for their success, the stronger your relationship will be.
Let’s take a quick look at what you must do to get started growing your business with partnerships.
- Decide on the type of business partner you want: Distribution, promotion, social, or multiple partners.
- Understand the advantages to working with these companies and how they’ll help you grow.
- Clarify your objectives with the partnership and make it as easy as possible for your business partners to reach those goals.
Business partnerships are incredibly effective ways to boost your business’s growth. By following these guidelines, you’re more likely to reach more people and build your brand image at the same time. As a small business, this is your golden ticket to massive success.