By David Quinlan, Vice President of Marketing at BBB Northwest
In today’s BBB Northwest podcast, we takes a look at how small businesses can leverage the power of partnerships to foster growth initiatives. Listen below or continue reading for a full look at how to utilize those partnerships.
Before you jump in and get too excited about the opportunities that partnerships can present you and your business, you also have to think about the following:
- What are you trying to accomplish with this partnership? More specifically, how will it help you market and sell your offerings?
- What type of partnership would be the best fit? You want to make sure that the partnership is mutually beneficial. You also want to make sure that you both share a similar vision when it comes to growing your businesses.
So here are some quick tips on why utilizing partnerships will help with business growth:
Tip #1: Increase Company Awareness
Partnerships can help you expand into different markets, establish new distribution channels, and grow new revenue streams while helping to increase your company’s awareness. This will help you gain exposure with new customers who haven’t heard about your company. What does this all mean? Well, by working with another business that is aligned with what you have to sell, you can both expand your reach and promote your products/services without having to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on advertising.
Tip #2: Co-Marketing Opportunities
No longer are you on your own when it comes to running a local event, an educational webinar and even a contest or giveaway. You’re now in a position to market your company faster than you’d be able to by going through the traditional advertising route. As such, you will then reach potential customers faster, in untapped markets that would otherwise take more time and money to penetrate.
Tip #3: Build Credibility
It’s a no brainer that the partnerships you build will surely be with businesses who are credible. Doing so will help increase your own credibility and in turn, build trust among your customers as well as your potential customers. Therefore, creating that “great first impression” is already a hurdle you’ve jumped over and can focus on initiatives that will drive more sales.
Tip #4: Cost Savings
Aside from just utilizing partnerships to gain awareness and grow sales, partnerships can also serve as a major cost savings. These cost savings could be around the following items:
- Office supplies.
- HR specific functions like payroll and employee engagement.
- Technology discounts on things like Internet, marketing and CRM software, IT help, and much more.
Tip #5: Gain Competitive Edge
Understand where your strengths and weaknesses are compared to the competition. From there, push to build partnerships with companies that make up for your weaknesses and can fill in the gaps to help you gain a competitive edge. Here’s a simple example, let’s say you run a roofing business and you know how to do your job well, but one of the gaps within your ability to grow faster is the fact that you may not have an automated process for people to schedule consultations, which is causing you to miss new opportunities and even calls. As such, you can partner with a technology company that can automate this process for you so that you aren’t losing any sales. And in turn, you can pay this partner a percentage of the sale that comes through.
Now to wrap it up, I want to share how we’ve leveraged partnerships here at BBB Northwest. One of our biggest partnerships is with the Portland Trailblazers. As you can imagine, nailing down an NBA sponsorship is extremely pricey – unless you co-op. Cooperative advertising is a cost-effective way for manufacturers, retailers or distributors to reach their target markets. At BBB we were able to leverage a three-year partnership with the Blazers with the help of our BBB Accredited Businesses. Collectively – we have been able to expand our brand and message on a larger platform at a fraction of the cost. CLICK HERE to read more about BBB’s partnership with the Blazers.
Remember, aligning your business with the right partnership can improve your reputation, help evolve your products/services and allow you to tap into new markets at a minimal cost.
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