You’ve heard the saying, “No man is an island.” The same sentiment applies to business.
Going in alone as an entrepreneur is possible, but forming relationships with like-minded individuals and companies can strengthen your business and increase your chances for long-term success.
Patrick Jones, owner of Boost Fitness Marketing, has addressed the issue of creating relationships as an effective way to expand your business in some of his blog posts. “We’ve answered just about every single [question] in various blog posts about community events, challenges, etc.,” he said, noting that esthetician businesses face pretty much the same issues gyms do when it comes to growing and sustaining business.
Look Outside Your Niche
For starters, Jones suggested creating “strategic business partnerships” that may lead to increased business, lower business costs and more perks for your current clients.
These partnerships don’t have to be with others in your field. Estheticians might want to partner with hair salons, natural and organic products retailers or yoga, Pilates and meditation studios. These partnerships have a greater chance of reaching crossover clients, those who patronize like-minded businesses in the beauty or wellness industries.
Main Street ROI, a small-business digital marketing agency, recommended seeking a business that offers similar, but not exactly the same, services that you do. Furthermore, if your business has a ready-made relationship with another local business, it makes sense to approach that company first.
Ask Your Colleagues
Jones also advocated for a “reciprocative agreement” with another business within the same industry. These agreements might involve discounts or special deals both businesses offer to clients. Drawing upon two different client bases might result in benefits for both you and the other company.
Main Street ROI offers a similar suggestion, in which two businesses promote each other through their respective email lists. By gaining access to a greater number of potential clients, you stand a good chance of expanding your business.
Although you might tend to focus on similar size businesses, Jones suggested aiming high and considering corporations that have a deep employee pool. Developing a relationship with one of these entities could introduce an entirely new audience to your business.
Do Some Research
What if you are not sure which business to approach? Perhaps you are new to the area and are unfamiliar with the commercial landscape.
One sure way to become acquainted with the local community is to join the Chamber of Commerce, which represents three million businesses of all sizes and in all industry sectors, 96 percent of which are small businesses (uschamber.com/members/small-business). Local chapters host a variety of meetings, networking events and workshops that connect business owners. By participating in these activities, you can introduce your business to those already in existence and, in time, develop relationships organically.
You can gain distinct benefits by collaborating with others—you don’t have to go it alone.