Most of us are keen to let businesses and community organisations know about the services we provide. We usually focus on how we can help them directly. Have you ever thought about building business partnerships to give clients added value? It’s a strategy that is often overlooked.
Whether you offer professional communications, web design, marketing assistance, financial advice, pet grooming, or any other services, there’s probably a perfect complementary service that will add value to your business, and vice versa.
Productive business partnerships
It might be worth considering the concept of building business partnerships: working with rather than for organisations you consider to be ‘influencers’. This typically means that your business makes a connection with a company that has an established client base. You might provide services that complement those that the influencers already offer to their clients.
The key is to connect businesses that logically work together. The aim is to add value to both. Lots of businesses already do this successfully.
A property stylist might join forces with a real estate agent, who can then offer vendors the option of purchasing interior decoration and ‘staging’ services to attract buyers. In return, the property stylist can build trust with clients by advertising its connection with a reputable and successful real estate agency.
Hairdressers and manicurists often recommend one another’s services and sometimes offer packaged deals. Some share the same premises.
The wedding planning industry is expert in creating networks of business partnerships – often linking with caterers, photographers, entertainers and endless others.
With a little lateral thinking, writers can use the same methods. Coaching and tutoring businesses are often asked to recommend writers, editors and proofreaders to meet student requests. Many printing businesses or web-design firms, for example, are happy to suggest expert writing services to their clients. Pairing with businesses like these can bring in extra income for professional writers.
What ‘added value’ can mean for your business
Your network should include those who have businesses in entirely different fields. If a client requires a service that is outside your area of expertise, you can recommend someone who can provide it. That’s good business. Offering this support means, of course, that your contacts will do the same for you. The benefits are obvious.
Be the ‘added value’ service for another business
- What does your company do best?
- How could your products or services add value to another business?
- What would be the advantages for you?
- How might you go about approaching that business?
Add more value to your current offering
- What added services might your clients appreciate?
- How might those services give you an extra ‘point of difference’?
- How might you set up business partnerships to provide extra value for your clients?
Build some ‘value-adding’ business relationships
Answer the questions above and then create a list of businesses you might approach. Start with those in your local area, and ask whether they would be interested in considering the idea.
Obviously you will need to write an effective promotional letter, pointing out all the benefits of forming a connection with another business, for mutual gain.
Use it to contact potential partners; just a few productive partnerships could significantly expand your client base.
One of my first paid business writing jobs was to compose such a letter for a client who was looking for an ‘influencer’ as a partner. It’s worth trying … and you have nothing to lose.
If you need advice or help with any of this, please contact me
Please leave a comment below, and share any experience you have had in this area, and how it worked for you.