Better together

Business networking has been around for years but it can be ‘all talk’ – passing leads between one another. This is fine but how about getting together with another business owner and cross-promoting your product or service? It’s one of the easiest things to organise and you’re automatically gaining access your strategic partner’s customer base. An example here might be a window manufacturer asking a window cleaner to promote his products for him and offering him a commission. In theory (think about how many window cleaners there must be in the manufacturer’s area) this same strategy could be rolled out with countless window cleaners. The window cleaner is in an ideal position to spot rotten window frames! But what about the manufacturer – well he could offer free window cleaning services for a year with every set of windows over a certain value (he’d just pay the window cleaner’s bill directly on behalf of his customer). Who else could the manufacturer team up with? Gardeners get a good look at windows and generally operate in wealthy areas where average spend will be high…….now take this model and try applying it to your own business.

Another take on this is to join forces with perhaps several other businesses and offer ‘money off’ vouchers. Let’s say you’re a restaurant operating in a village and you go along to the hair stylists and tell them that all their customers are entitled to 10% off their meal. You ask the hair stylist to hand out vouchers to customers. Do you think they would? Well, why wouldn’t they? From the hair stylist’s point of view this can only be a positive. They’re able to offer something of value to current customers who are more likely to return if it means getting another voucher and another cheaper meal. So long as the restaurant is reputable, the association can only be positive. And the restaurant has access to the hair stylist’s customers – a real win-win situation!

Why not jot down which of them might be suitable for a joint venture like this?

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