© 2021 Vinny Ribas
One of the most powerful ways to grow your business is to find reputable strategic partners. This should be someone who can benefit from aligning with you as much as you can by aligning with them. For starters you might promote each other or sell each other’s products or services, You might also combine products or services, running promotions such as ‘purchase X and get Y for only $1.’
Of course, the ways you can work together with a partner are only limited by your own creativity! And naturally you will want to search within your own industry for companies that compliment yours. But don’t forget to think outside of your field for products and services that your customers also need or use. For example, I tell musicians to get coupons from local restaurants to include when they cell their their CDs or merchandise. They get the coupons for free. Then they announce that “you can buy their CD for $10 and get $100 in discounts from local restaurants such as…“ Many people buy multiple CDs just for the coupons, and then give the CDs away to friends. It’s a big win-win for everyone.
So how do you find these partners? The methods are unlimited, but here are 10 of the most common ways that you can implement relatively quickly and simply.
- Trade and Networking Organizations: You can tap into both your own trade organizations as well as those of your target partners. Local Chambers of Commerce can also be great resources. Most have online forums in which you can post your request, but meeting the business leaders face-to-face is much more effective.
- Trade Magazines: Check out your industry’s trade magazines for companies whose products or services would be a good fit with or compliment to yours.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the most well-known social network for business networking. Determine what kinds of businesses you want to connect with and then join ‘groups’ that the leaders of those businesses would belong to. Post your request there. If you’ve identified companies you want to approach via the other means mentioned here, you may be able to directly contact their executives on LinkedIn. Study how to use this powerful network effectively, and you will have millions of connections at your fingertips.
- Workshops and Conferences: Attending the right business events such as workshops and conferences can put you face-to-face with the company executives that you need to reach. Some, such as CEO Space, are designed specifically to help you grow your business and find strategic partners.
- Your Customers: Your customers often have their own businesses that serve the same customer base that you do. The more you get to know your customers, the greater the chances of finding perfect strategic matches.
- Mastermind Groups: Mastermind groups, also known as peer-to-peer groups, are excellent ways to tap into both the connections and the creative genius of others. You may have access to local, national and international groups depending on the size and nature of your business.
- Service Organizations: Organizations such as Rotary International, Kiwanis, Sertoma etc. are a great place to find strategic alliances. Plus, you connect with people who have a heart for doing good in their community.
- The Chamber of Commerce: There a great chance that whoever you’re looking for as a local strategic partner will be a member of your Chamber of Commerce.
- Networking Events: Networking is the key to finding any kind of resource or partner you are looking for. Chances are there are great networking groups right in your home town. And with a lot of business going virtual, it’s easy to tap into a wide array of business networking events from all around the world.
- Your Personal Network: Conduct a personal inventory of the relationships you already have. You will probably discover that either you already know the ideal the strategic partner for your business, or someone in your network can put you in touch with a good match.
Don’t be shy. Chances are the companies you are looking to partner with are also looking for companies like yours to link up with. These partnerships can be very effective, extremely cost effective, and can increase your credibility and/or brand value by association.