Friday, April 17, 2009

PARTNERSHIP PROFITS Every Business - Especially in a down economy

Despite today's economic uncertainty, one thing is sure: we all need more sales! In pursuit of the next business opportunity or sale, we have to be vigilant in how we spend our time. Using partnerships is a tremendous method of leveraging your time and utilizing others to help drive your store’s sales. In fact, strategic partnering is no longer an option, but a must.

The whole idea behind partnership brand marketing is to find customers where your company and brand do not compete: It not only provides your brand with additional credibility in aligning with another company but also opens up distribution channels, allows you to reach and market to customers that may not be aware or thinking of your brand, and—most important—it captures the attention of new potential buyers who may not have your brand top of mind.

Find companies who sell non-competitive products or services into the same vertical and form a partnership to mutually increase one another’s distribution. Joint Ventures, strategic alliances, corporate partnering, licensing and distribution agreements, and numerous other collaborative business arrangements provide an exceptional opportunity to catalyze sales growth. In addition to rapidly generating new revenue channels, the formation of key partnerships can provide the additional advantage of creating competitive barriers to entry into certain markets or product lines.

There is no better time than now to evaluate the state of your current partnerships. A smart and cost effective strategy ensures that your current business partnerships are providing what I call "high performance and high impact" to your customers, partners and to you.

Start by objectively evaluating all your current partners (if any) and then drop those that don't align with these two categories that drive incremental value to your business. Or find some new ones in which your capabilities, combined with those of your potential partner, will differentiate your offerings from those of your competition, and drive more business.

It is important to be involved in strategic partnerships to help drive sales in these difficult times. Be careful not to invest too much valuable time and energy into partnerships that don’t maximize the return on investment for your business. Work smart, not just hard, and you will successfully utilize partnerships to grow your business.

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