Being in business can be a lonely game, especially if it is just you in your pajamas, in front of your computer, trying to get your message out to the world. There are less solitary ways, you know. An alliance/joint venture/strategic partnership is one of them.
Setting up alliances with other businesses that serve the same customers you do is a well-known strategy that successful businesses use regularly. It could be your turn to start to figure out how to use it to suit you.
The thing I come across, time and time again, when working with clients, is that they are nervous about approaching other business owners for a variety of reasons. Some feel that the other business owners will not take them seriously. Others feel that they have to give away some hard-earned cash. Others just want to do their own thing without involving anyone else.
This is the thing – it is always best to have 50% of $1000 (or £s) than a 100% of nothing. The customers that you could be exposed to when working with someone else may make your life considerably easier than it is at the moment. They have customers who could need your service or product, so getting past the blockages in your head could mean you serve more people, and guess what that means for your bottom line?
Here are 5 key points to consider when setting up an alliance with another business owner:
1. Approach this with great self-belief.
If you feel you have nothing to offer, guess what? That will come across very quickly to the joint venture partner, so start to realize that you are doing the other business a favor as well. You have something their customers may want, so you are making them look good to their people. If what you offer is great (and of course, you would not be offering it otherwise!), then give everyone the opportunity to be a part of it.
2. Create a strong offering.
What will blow the other business’s customer’s socks off? Don’t keep back your best stuff. Look at this as working together for the long haul and offer something amazing upfront so they are left wondering what else is available from your business. It is just like the trailers for a movie—they show the best bits to get you in! Do the same.
3. Be very targeted.
Think this through in detail; who serves your buying customers? There’s no point approaching someone who has customers who would never buy from you. If you are really strategic at this, you could get an influx of customers from very few joint venture partners.
4. How much support?
Make sure the business owner is very much in support of you or else, their lack-luster attitude will rub off on their customers. If they do not enthusiastically promote you to their people, it will be an uphill struggle for you, so make that offer very enticing and ensure the business owner understands it completely and supports it fully.
5. Stay in touch.
There’s not much point setting up an alliance and then leaving it hanging. Just as you would with customers, stay in touch, remind them of the benefits of working with you, tell them how things are going and how their efforts to promote you are benefiting the customers they send your way.
And there you have it. Asking other business owners to work with you in creating a successful and profitable business is easier than spending loads of money on advertising and marketing.
So.. what are you waiting for? Go Forth and Prosper!
As always, Create the Life You Want, Stop Living The One you Don’t