Posted by: Christine Adams | August 7, 2009

Partnering with Complementary Businesses

Partnering with Complementary Businesses

Small businesses can benefit from partnering with complementary businesses. We see it all of the time with large corporations. For example, Sprint and NASCAR teamed up to create the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, Betty Crocker and Hershey’s created amazing brownies and the major credit card corporations teamed up with various other companies to create reward systems. Small businesses can have the same impact on local markets when they embark on partnerships as well.

Here are 5 reasons why small businesses should consider partnering with complementary counterparts:

1. Synergy – According to Wikipedia, synergy is, “the term used to describe a situationpartnership where different entities cooperate advantageously for a final outcome. Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.” When businesses work collaboratively they can benefit from each other through shared resources, costs and expertise.

2. Loyalty – Partnerships create loyalty. When the partnership is beneficial to both companies, it creates brand loyalty within the employees of each firm. This increases positive word of mouth advertising. The people who understand your business, and believe in the value that you add, will always be your biggest fans. Let them speak for you.

3. Add Value – By providing complementary services or products to your clients, you add value to their experience. In the busy world we live in, consumers enjoy accomplishing multiple tasks when they spend money at a business. If you create a one-stop-shop, they are likely to frequent your business to save them time and money.

4. New Clients – When you partner with another business you are effectively expanding your clientele base. Exposing your business to a whole new group of customers can only benefit your business. Ask your new partner what you can do to reach their customers and what you can offer them to reach yours. Remember, this is a give and take relationship….give as much, if not more, than you receive.

partner5. Referral Network – Even past the promotion phase, partners continue to refer customers to businesses they trust. Over time, you may both partner with other businesses that can benefit from everyone collaborating together. Building a strong referral network ensures that you are referring your customers where you know they will get an excellent product or service, thus you continue to add value.

Remember that while there are many benefits to partnering with complementary businesses there can be some downsides. Make sure that you choose businesses wisely and that their mission fits the same value system as your company’s. There are plenty of opportunities available so if it doesn’t feel right, search for another. When you find a brilliant fit, embrace it and learn as much from each other as possible!

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