SCORE

By Charles Auerbach, SCORE volunteer

Smart business owners are always on the lookout for ways to reach their target audiences without a major marketing investment. One approach is to identify other (non-competitive) organizations that are already in contact with an audience that's similar to yours and work out a mutually beneficial collaboration. 

There are two main reasons to partner with others:

  • You'll get easier and quicker access to new audiences
  • When another company promotes your brand, you instantly earn the trust of its existing prospects and customers and leverage its clout in the marketplace

Collaboration can take three forms:

  • Distribution
    • Work with a business that has an established audience and extensive customer list, and capitalize on those contacts to distribute your product to its existing customers
  • Promotion
    • Work with a partner to drive potential customers to your website, webinar, or mailing list 
  • Social Good
    • Work with a charitable organization sponsoring an event with large public participation
    • Engage with the participants by taking a table or other display at the event
    • Offer a special discount to encourage participants to try your product or service
    • Gain goodwill by being identified with the charitable cause

The more you show your partner you are watching out for his/her interests, the stronger your relationship will become. Before you move forward with a partnership, be sure you've considered the following:

  • Will the relationship advance your long-term business goals?
  • Is your partner aware of -- and comfortable with -- the level of growth you want to achieve?
  • Does your partner understand how your goals can fit with his/her own? 

Partnerships take work to develop and build, but when managed well, they can turbocharge your marketing in ways you never imagined.

To learn more about what partnerships can do for your small business, make an appointment with a SCORE mentor by calling  914-948-3907 today.

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Charles Auerbach has 38 years experience in management consulting for small businesses, emphasizing sales and marketing.