3 Reasons Working with Another Business is a Smart Strategy Move

With all the day-to-day tasks most small business owners have to take care of, it’s no wonder that larger strategy can go out the window. But don’t get so bogged down in the nitty gritty that you overlook an idea staring you in the face: team up with another small business.

Maybe you remember “complementary goods” from your Econ 101 class: it’s the idea that two products are related, so when demand goes up for one, it goes up for another. A classic example would be something like bagels and cream cheese. People tend to eat these things together, so when people buy more bagels, they also buy more cream cheese. Get it?

What does that have to do with your small business? It’s all about strategy. Chances are, you’re not selling bagels or cream cheese, but the principle still applies. If you were selling bagels, wouldn’t it be smart to team up with a cream cheese seller to maximize your customer base?

You can apply this to almost any industry. A wedding coordinator could partner with a DJ, a florist, a caterer or a dressmaker. An exterminator could partner with a home contractor or a landscaper. An IT company could partner with an independent computer store. You get the idea. The main things to look for are that your businesses complement each other, that you can maintain a friendly working relationship, and that you’ll both get something out of the arrangement.

The Pros

What exactly can you expect to get out of it, you ask? There are a number of benefits to teaming up with the right partner:

  1. Increased awareness of your brand among people who are already in the market for your product or services.
  2. Potential for lower out-of-pocket marketing costs because you’re sharing resources.
  3. An expanded network among other complementary service providers or businesses. You never know when a connection may come in handy, or when you might be able to help out a fellow business owner.

And the best news is that these benefits are based entirely on your relationship with another company, so you shouldn’t incur any extra costs.

Start Simple

When you’re just starting out, partnering with other businesses doesn’t have to be complicated. It could literally be as easy as a friendly agreement to appear as guest bloggers on each others’ sites, or retweet and share social media posts to followers.

Team up in person

Hosting an event or seminar with a complementary business allows both parties to make new connections with the other company’s customer base, while also getting the general increased awareness that comes with hosting an event. Bonus points if you can get a relevant charity connection, which can get your brand out to an even wider audience and do some good in the process.

Market Together

Working on joint marketing material can get your company information in the hands of more people and allows both companies to share the cost load. If it’s printed material, you may be able to get a better deal by ordering for two companies at once. If it’s digital marketing, you may be able to get a discount on software or programming. It never hurts to ask.

When small businesses stick together, everyone wins. Companies get a broader reach and increased brand awareness, and customers get a solid recommendation for a product or service they were likely in the market for anyway. It’s really a win-win.