Business isn’t just about competition. It’s also about finding and fostering strategic partnerships.
That’s particularly true for small businesses within their local communities. By forming alliances with one another, they create a stronger position to promote the idea of buying local and recirculating money within the community.
Here are four ways that businesses can work together for mutual benefit:
- Joint discount – This concept, recommended by “buy local” community Independent We Stand, is a straightforward and simple cross-promotion at checkout. When someone comes into your partner’s store, they are offered a discount at your store; and vice versa.
- Services exchange – Keep in mind that not all forms of business partnership are about comarketing. Allison Canty of virtual phone system provider Grasshopper notes that it’s also valuable to swap services, allowing both parties to lower their costs.
- Rewards programs – Credit cards, hotels, and airlines offer their customers ways to rack up points every time they buy, which can be built up and used to get various “free” gifts. You could create a rewards program that is specific to your local area or even a niche within your town – such as a health and fitness rewards program for your community’s locally owned companies.
- Event collaboration – Finally, you can develop an event that showcases your business along with several others. “While it may require a little more work, a joint event can give customers a reason to stop by your business,” says Independent We Stand. “It can also get your partner business’ customers in front of you without requiring them to make another stop.”
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