One extremely effective yet low-cost marketing strategy that you could employ in growing your small business is to form alliance partnerships with non-competitive businesses is likely to area. These can be businesses that complement your business offerings or services yet they aren’t in direct competition with you.
The first step is to consider the customer base that they serve. If their subscriber base and your customer base are certainly one and the same and have a large overlap, then you have identified a complementary business. For example a hairdresser looking to target complementary businesses could have a look at photographers, wedding gown specialists, make-up and beauty businesses, clothing retailers, etc.
* You will need to identify as precisely that you can the characteristics of your common customers including their age, where they live, their income and spending habits. Focus on your own (good) customer profile
* Decide which of the local the firms you believe serve this client base
* Prioritize each of these businesses (1,2,3) based on which one represents the top synergy with your business.
* Approach these companies either via letter or personally to sound out your business owners.
Now naturally, not all business owners that you simply approach to offer this arrangement to will likely be open to it. But say away from six that you approach most probably two or three will see the opportunity and come on board. Let’s look at the hairdresser for example. She may run a competitive sport with the first prize like a complete makeover.
The makeover would come with a new hair style, fresh clothes outfit, make up, and also to top it all off a glamour photo in the photographer. This photograph with an advertorial (jointly funded by all businesses involved) could be featured from your paper or used on flyers, brochures etc.
This competition becomes a forum for all businesses to promote and highlight their professional services and products. This is an effective and low-cost online marketing strategy. Some pointers for successful alliances:
* Start slowly and build the partnership with your new alliance partners
* Draft a casual agreement on paper to what is expected from the alliance
* Create an agreed schedule of promoting activities, commencing having an exchange of business cards being displayed in each businesses premises
* Progress to sharing the costs of vouchers which feature all the alliance businesses
* Test great and bad your marketing efforts (what is the return on investment?)
Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of this simple marketing strategy. If you are in a business that has a lot of competition (hairdressers) then forming alliances and networks to non-competitive businesses effectively increases your subscriber base. It will also put you before your competition.