One of the many marketing strategies that are very useful and effective for small to medium scale enterprises are marketing partnerships. You create partnerships for the benefit of your business, to help it grow and increase your profit. But you don’t just jump in bed with someone who offers you a partnership deal. As always, there are things to consider depending on what direction you are going and the goals you want to achieve.
Choose your partner well. It is often advisable that you partner with others that have the expertise that can complement with yours. Partnerships can also arise from the need to be able to provide a necessary service that you are not able to. Looking at events outfits, they usually end up having partnerships with lights and sounds companies, caterers, etc. This is a good way to keep customers because you are able to provide them with what they need although the services are being provided by another company. In return, your partners may also be able to refer their customers to you which they feel you will be able to service. Thus mutualism is achieved.
Like any relationship you want a partner that will help you develop. You would want to choose one that has a good reputation and would open you to the right connections and market. As a business owner you have your target market and your partner selection should also have the same target. This way you both are able to expand and maximize the potential coverage of your enterprise. For example, if you have a high end flower shop catering to market class A, you would not choose to partner with a let’s say a pottery shop whose clients are for the masses. Their clients would not be able to afford your products and services. On the other hand if you choose to partner with someone who is complementing your business with the same market profile and they also happen to be at a different location, you are then able to extend your marketing reach.
What’s in it for both parties? You enter this arrangement for the reason that both enterprise mutually benefits. Usually there is an agreement that there is exchange of services or monetary percentage of the profit that was generated by the collaboration. It would be advisable that you have what was agreed upon in writing so that both parties will have a clear cut understanding of the arrangement. If you would notice some clothing stores would give discounts if you happen to have a privilege card of a certain restaurant and vice versa. They are both creating clients for each other so they both get something out of their partnership.
Commitment is vital! When you enter into an a relationship it’s not always rosy. If you are the one proposing the partnership you might have to be doing the bulk of setting it up. You will have to be the driving force to make it a success. They may like your proposal and see how it can work but there will always be skepticism. Take bazaars for example. Bazaars are in a rage right now. But many of these small businesses that participate initially have doubts if they will earn a profit. So the major establishment sponsoring the bazaar has to be able to prove that it can draw in the right crowd so that all participants will benefit from the event.
Creating marketing relationships involves trust and being comfortable with the parties involved. As long as cooperation and mutual advantage is maintained, you can be sure of a lasting partnership.