Building business partnerships is the quickest way to business growth. Being able to leverage other people’s networks, customers and databases allows you to sell to many and not one by one.
The more personal relationships you have with your community the more opportunities you will be able to create.
So here I was last Sunday as a panel expert to a business group, mostly new businesses and all very eager to learn and really have their businesses take off. There were people from all over the country and from all different industries; we had online businesses, offline businesses and businesses that were way out of the box.
The one thing that all these businesses had in common was they were trying to grow their business the hard way. They were trying to get customers and clients one by one by one.
Over the course of the day I walked away having learnt 4 things from my day as a panel expert with these people and it made my think if every business could get these 5 things right they would get instant results.
#1 – You must have a community and not a database
Everyone is told grow your database, email them and stay front of mind and eventually they will leave you or buy from you. Wrong, society has changed and people don’t want countless number of emails, they don’t read them and quite often you are wasting your time and effort in sending them. People want to belong, people want to be connected and they want to feel that they are part of something bigger than just them.
When you have a community rather than a database you think differently, you act differently and you actually care about your people and want them to be successful. A database is just a name and email, a community is a personal relationship.
The more personal relationships you have with your community the more opportunities you will be able to create to get new doors opened up, new networks and new referrals.
#2 – You must create Joint Ventures and Cross Promotions with others
There was a lady with an online store and she was trying to drive traffic to her site day in and day out, she was running paid advertising, using social media, 12 hours a day, doing flyers, going to markets, you named it she was doing it. BUT she wasn’t using leverage and other people’s networks for business growth.
I said to her if I was in your shoes this is what I would be doing. Go and find 100 mums groups (mums were her target audience) and create a win/win opportunity with them so that they would promote you to their community. By the time she had found those 100 groups she had access to nearly 317,000 people. How long or how much would it have costed for her to reach that number herself.
#3 – You must think BIG business growth with your partners
If you are going to partner with people and create joint ventures and cross promotions then do it with big partners. Sure they might say no, however if you don’t ask you will never know. Big players want to collaborate just as much as little players. The key is finding a win/win so that they can’t refuse your offer. Instead of 100 mums groups you might only need know 10 to get the same business growth.
#4 – You must take action and follow through
As simple as this sounds it is amazing how many people know that this is a good idea yet don’t do anything about it. Get yourself out of the way and put a partner action plan in place to follow. There really are only 3 steps you need to complete.
First you need to find the partners, search on the internet, search on social media, speak to your current network and find people who have the same clientele as you do but you don’t compete with one another.
Second make contact with those people to discuss the possibility of creating a collaboration with one another, work out the win/win for both parties. Remember if there is no win/win then nothing gets done.
Finally set up action steps that you both need to follow to make the collaboration come through and follow that business growth plan.
Now you’re ready for your next one.
Having business partnerships is the quickest way to business growth and it all starts with a simple phone call or message.
This article was written by Michael Griffiths, founder of The Partnership Club. You can get a free guest pass from here.