As an entrepreneur, it is always important to find and focus on your niche, the one thing that you do better than anyone else. However, in times like these, it’s equally important to be flexible and diversified enough to satisfy changing customer demand. Being open to partnering with other small businesses can be a great way to diversify your offerings and increase revenue.
The right partnership can bring many benefits to your business, including:
Market Expansion. Your new partner can expose your product or service to a broader range of potential customers. You will, of course, be expected to do the same for them.
Cost Reduction. Partners can share expenses and pool resources, including everything from advertising to rent.
Product Diversification. When appropriate, a partner’s products may complement your own, and each of you can offer a broader range of product to your customers, extending the reach of your brand and increasing revenues.
However, if you decide to pursue a partnership, be sure you are partnering with businesses that share your ideology and customer demographic.
For example, a floral shop might consider partnering with businesses that cater to its same demographic and whose products could be sold in its shop or vice versa; some potential businesses would be a gift shop, an art gallery, a bakery, a book store, or a coffee house. By offering these other products, the floral shop would able to offer more to its customers, possibly share in the margin of these new products, and reduce its marketing expenses. And by placing flowers in other store fronts, the floral shop can gain more customers and increase its revenues and brand exposure as well.
When looking for a partner, be sure to ask yourself these following questions:
- Do they share a similar customer demographic?
- Can they offer strength in my weaker areas?
- Will partnering with them expand my customer base and increase my revenues?
- Is this partnership going to elevate my company’s brand?
- Will this arrangement be short or long term?
Go forth from here and find your ideal partner(s) and tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in the comments. We’d love to hear how you are making your business work. Check out nedandshell
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Nada Jones and Michelle Briody are the authors of Sixteen Weeks to Your Dream Business, a guide for prospective women entrepreneurs. They blog at Sixteen Weeks To Your Dream Business.
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