There’s a saying, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together".
Business owners should consider this when running a business. It is never easy to run a business, and you often feel completely overwhelmed.
That’s why you need partnership. Partnerships do not have to in the legal sense. It could be temporary so that you can both help each other with immediate issues.
The pandemic has taught us that it is okay to ask for help. You do not have to handle everything on your own. If you want to scale, partnering with other local brands is one of the best ways to grow.
Below, we have listed the top 12 ways to partner with other local businesses to help you in your journey.
Not all partnerships need to be profitable. There can be significant benefits for small businesses to partner with a local non-profit to give back and gain exposure in many cases.
Chances are, your locality might have local charities that support local people. You can partner with them to show support for the local community. After all, what’s a better idea than donating some of your resources if they are helping people?
For example, if you are a toy store, you might find new opportunities because of your partnership with non-profit children's hospitals. You can announce to customers that you would donate a specific percentage of toy sales to children’s hospitals.
This would benefit you in two ways. Your customers will feel good about buying from your store since you support a noble cause.
Secondly, you can also be featured in local newspapers and news channels to contribute to children's hospitals. This will increase your brand awareness and also drive sales.
Amazon Smile is an example of a business partnering with a local charity:
You can also partner with other local businesses by creating an incubator. The incubator is simply a membership club of more than one business.
Incubators are also great for exploring new business opportunities and helping you solve problems faster in a cost-effective way. All in all, it's a great partnership project for new small local businesses who wish to grow and experiment.
Here are some tips you can follow to make your membership club a huge success.
Techstars is a popular example of a business incubator:
If you have a local radio station in your city, it's worth partnering with them. Radio personalities are sort of local influencers, with established audiences trusting them. You can partner with them to promote your local businesses on-air by providing incentives.
Since most people trust radio influencers, the customers will surely check out your local business if radio personalities promote them. It's a win-win situation.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while partnering with local radio stations:
Here’s an example of a radio station accepting business advertisement requests:
Partnership marketing or joint marketing is where two businesses split the cost of running marketing campaigns. As a small business, if you face a cash crunch in the marketing area, a joint marketing campaign is an excellent opportunity to generate brand awareness and sales.
Apple is a prime example of running joint marketing campaigns. Over the past few years, they have successfully partnered with brands like Nike to run the most iconic partnership campaigns.
Apple had a partnership with Starbucks from 2007 to 2016 to let Starbucks customers instantly connect to Wi-Fi and download songs from iTunes while in-store.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while launching joint marketing campaigns:
Here’s an example of how Apple and Starbucks partnered together:
Swapping services is like a barter system. You get what’s essential for you and give out something essential to other businesses. The only difference is there is no money involved.
It is not always necessary to have partnerships in public. You can partner with other businesses to swap services as a local business. Take a wedding business as an example. You can partner with caterers and party lawns in exchange for services.
The key benefit of this business model is not paying in cash. If you are struggling, swapping services can be very helpful to sustain your business without taking loans.
Here’s an example of the barter trade in Craigslist:
It's no secret emails have one of the highest ROI among other marketing channels. If you and other local businesses have email lists, it’s a great opportunity to run a collaborative email campaign.
Collaborative email campaigns are great ways to increase your email database, raise brand awareness and attract more customers.
Here are some tips for running partnership email campaigns.
Here’s an example of a Citi bank and Myntra.com’s collaborative email campaign:
Social media is a great opportunity to communicate with your audience and community. So, how about partnering with other local businesses on social media? Seriously, social media can act as a goldmine for generating when used properly.
Here’s how you partner with other local businesses through social media
Here’s an example of Volkswagen partnering with an influencer on Instagram for a shout-out:
The partnership doesn’t have to be physical; it can be online. Guest blogging works similar to social media partnerships.
Guest blogging is simply a process of blogging on other local business websites. It’s a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about your local business and hopefully drive customers to your store.
Guest blogging also provides SEO benefits such as backlinks. When other businesses link to your business site, you are a backlink which can also improve your local rankings on search engines.
Here’s a template you can use to reach out to websites for guest blogging:
As a small business owner, you want to be growing yourself, your business, and your team continually. And what's a better way to do that than joining industry organizations?
Many organizations run groups of entrepreneurs that share ideas. These groups are a goldmine to find your potential business partner and like-minded people.
They can benefit you in many ways. For example, your expertise and connections play an important role while running a business.
Here are some things to do when you join an industry organization:
For example, if you run a fashion business, joining the CFDA will help grow your business:
A referral is a great, low-cost system to partner with other local businesses and drives traffic your way. For example, if you partner with another local business and send a paying customer your way, you can offer a small incentive or bonus.
It’s a great way to encourage other businesses to know about you, strengthen your relationships, and recommend each other. A referral partner is often built on trust and needs to be cultivated over time.
Here’s how to form a referral system with your local business
Affiliate marketing is a popular referral system:
Product bundling is an old marketing strategy where two businesses create product or service bundles. Product bundles are amazingly powerful if done right. Just take a look at product bundles on Microsoft and Adobe Creative Cloud. They have been pretty successful.
To run product or service packages successfully, here are some tips
Here’s a screenshot of Adobe Creative Cloud integration with Microsoft Teams:
Events are a fantastic way to create a buzz and drive foot traffic to your business.
But large community-oriented events always require a considerable amount of capital. As a result, only a handful of small businesses are ready to sponsor an event independently.
But by sponsoring local events along with other businesses, you can share the marketing costs and other extra fees so that you don't have the financial burden.
In the end, all the sponsors will benefit from sponsoring the local events since they are gaining direct exposure to traffic.
Here Are Some Tips To Follow When Co-Sponsoring Local Events
Here’s an example of businesses sponsoring a local event:
Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.