Local Strategic Partnerships for Retail Small Business Owners

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We talk a lot about how to promote your business in a way that makes sense for you. You’re busy wearing multiple hats, keeping all the balls in the air, and in most cases, serving as HR, CEO, and Marketing all at once. At times, you may begin to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, directionless, hopeless, battle-torn, and alone. That said, you still have a business to run and one you’d like to grow.  We would like to raise an idea to you — Strategic Business Partnerships, one that BriteCap has embraced for many years, and show you how it can work for your small business as well.

What is it?

A Strategic Business Partnership offers an edge to small businesses and helps them compete against larger companies. Fortune 500 companies have been doing it for years! Strategic Business Partnership is a mutually beneficial contractual alliance between two businesses that offers entrepreneurs, just like you, the competitive edge you need to increase your bottom line in innovative ways. It’s a win-win situation. So, have you embraced this business strategy yet?  If not, what’s holding you back?

A Strategic Partnerships will help you compete effectively against larger firms by leveling the playing field. As partners, you can share marketing, advertising, product development, sales, HR and tech, as well as many other functions.

As a business owner, you can also establish mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers and vendors to better serve your customers. For example, FedEx Office offers products, services, and convenience that can help your small business develop and grow. They offer direct-mail services, flyers, brochures, signage, banners and business stationery that will bolster the branding and efficiency of your business. Reach out to your contacts whom you buy from, and offer to promote their services in-store and on your website, in return for similar promotions. You’ll reach a wider audience that is already interested in what you are selling.

Reach out to local organizations. There are many local organizations in your community you can approach to see if they would be interested in entering into a partnership, such as having your business become the preferred supplier for members if you offer promotions or a modest discount in return.

Reach out to similar, non-competitive businesses. There is no one who will understand your challenges more than a fellow local small business owner. A friend of ours was able to rally the other independent shops on her street to create a unique shopping experience for customers by creating a map of all the local small businesses on the street, with their opening hours, store information, and items offered. It raised awareness for the shops on the street, and cross-promoted all the stores to customers, alerting them to great businesses they had not patronized yet. This is a great example of where she focused on her target market as a whole and came up with a list of other interests her customers may have.

Reassess results as you go. Strategic Partnerships can sound daunting, but at its core, it connects your business with other like-minded businesses to create a better customer experience for everyone. You may not always see results from partnership initiatives or cross promotion overnight and if it seems you are getting back less than you are putting in when it comes to partnerships, it’s time to move on.

As part of your business strategy, you should do a regular assessment of any strategic partnership your business has and see if they are meeting your prescribed goals. If your goal is to simply build brand reputation, direct sales may not be a good measurement stick, however, if you want sales to increase, then you might need to have a metric in place that lets you know exactly how much business is coming in as a result of any partnership. Your top priority is to always keep your own goals but remember networking is key and to cut ties when a partnership is no longer helpful.


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