If you are a new business it can often take time to start finding customers. One way to boost your sales is to find a business partner who already deals with your target market. You also need to find a business partner whose product or service is complemented by yours. For example, if you run outdoor activities for young adults you could partner with youth hostels. In this article we’ll explore this topic in more detail and discuss some of the tools you can use to find business partners.
Why business partnerships?
If you are a new business you will have no track record and no testimonials. As such, it is more difficult for people to trust your service. One way you can overcome this is by working one-on-one with people for free in return for a testimonial. This may not be an option for you depending on your offering. Also, even with testimonials it doesn’t guarantee people will buy from you.
One way to plug your business into the market is through partnerships. Working with businesses who already serve your target market and provide complementary products or services. The benefit for you is access to your target market. The benefit for the business is commission through sales or more satisfied customers through discounts on your offering.
Before you approach potential business partners
You need to understand things from the perspective of the business you’d like to work with. They have spent years building up their customers and their reputation. For them to promote your product is a big risk. It’s very important you demonstrate as clearly as possible you provide a high quality product. The best way is through video testimonials and references which can be called. Initially, don’t ask to work with their entire client list. Ask for just 3 – 5 and steadily increase the numbers as you build trust.
Another option would be to offer free advice to their clients. If you are a coach you can create videos giving advice on how to manage your time better, how to get more out of meetings and how to be a more effective leader. The benefit for the business is free content for their customers. It also minimises their risk as they are not recommending your service to their clients only your content.
How to identify potential business partners
As mentioned already you want to find businesses who already work with your target market and who complement your product. For example if you are an accountant and you want to work with small businesses you would look at some of the products they would use. Nearly every business has a logo and a website. A graphic designer and a website developer would complement your business well.
How to find potential business partners
One of the cheapest ways to find potential business partners is through Linkedin. Linkedin allows you to identify people by industry and role. The problem with Linkedin is that it is very broad and mostly includes people who are employees.
There are many groups on Linkedin which may be more useful for networking with other business owners. Also facebook as many active groups which work very well for meeting other business owners.