After reading this recent article by Brian Moran on American Express' Open Forum site, it had me thinking about the power of networking. Here at Constant Contact we have been focusing on the next coming holiday for Small Businesses, Small Business Saturday. A little advertised or promoted idea is one to join together with complimentary businesses to help each other on Small Business Saturday.
This idea is one that is near and dear to most Small Business Owners. Who better to know the struggles of Small Businesses than others in your position? What if you combined your marketing efforts with some of the other businesses in your town or area? Think of the potential for a minute. Your reach could grow, exponentially the more businesses that you work and partner with. Even just running a joint promotion, where when someone stops by your business you give them a coupon or offer (something as little as 10% or $5 off) for a complimentary business and they do the same for you. You can gain new customers without too much effort.
What if you want to go bigger though? Think about a joint event where it is hosted at one location (either a neutral location or one of your businesses). Have employees from both businesses present who are trained or coached on how the businesses complement each other. Your not going to be selling their business for them, this would be a joint effort. Your employee should be able to talk up your business and show how there is a relationship with the other business. There would then be a "hand off" to the other employee or to a pamphlet to know more about the other business.
Moran introduces 5 tips in his article that are great ideas to keep in mind, especially if you are thinking of joining up with a fellow Small Business Owner. Here are the tips from the article: Learn to reciprocate, be respectful, honesty is the best policy, opportunities come in different colors and stay connected. Read the full article here to get the details on each tip and how it can help you.