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*This is a guest post from Beyond The Technique

What are partnerships? They’re a strategy for working with businesses that are industry friendly and like-minded. In my experience, people love to connect with others.

For example, a friend might email me asking if I know any bartenders who will come to their location for an event. I then refer my friend to someone who I think will provide an exceptional experience.

Another example: at Be Inspired Salon, we provide all hair services, makeup, and facial waxing, but we do not do facials or chemical peels. Therefore, we have an amazing partnership with Serene Beauty that allows us to promote each other because we’re industry friendly, but we don’t directly compete with each other. It’s an amazing partnership.

How do you identify beneficial partnerships?  

The following are some questions to keep in mind when considering a new partnership.

#1 Do they have a great reputation?

Do you not only love doing business with them, but also feel confident referring your best clients to them? Is the experience going to be predictable and fabulous?

#2 Do they value what your company values?

Maybe you hate corporate franchises and want to keep your business organic. Those are things that you can decide beforehand when you’re seeking out potential partners. Then, find partners who support and appreciate those values.

#3 Are they similar, yet different?

Can the other business offer valuable services or products that you don’t offer, but also doesn’t compete with what you offer? At Be Inspired Salon, we also partner with a local massage company that offers organic and healthy materials. This way our services are related, but still different.

#4 Are they communicative?

This is huge. Is there a dedicated representative at their company who will continually communicate with you to maintain the relationship?

#5 How are you able to help one another?

Your partnership blossoms by promoting one another either internally or externally. Promoting internally might be exchanging brochures, posting signage in your store, and adding them to your email marketing. An external example would be attending their events or doing social media promotions.

Another way you can promote each other externally is adding a resources page to your website which showcases all of your fabulous partnerships. This not only helps each other but helps your clients! Supporting each other is important to maintaining a steady, healthy relationship that doesn’t cost anything.

In other cases, you may want to spend a little money and give your partner a small gift. This could be something like a $10 gift card or another small item that’s not devaluing what you offer. This is also advertising your business through word of mouth–they like you and are more likely to speak highly of you. Huge, powerful partnerships are better for your company if and when you have identified your unique selling proposition in advance.

Getting out there and meeting people to expand your partnerships is a great idea for your business. At the end of the day, the better and more powerful you partners are the more “right” clients you’ll have coming in.

Does your salon maintain any partnerships? Share your innovative ideas with us in the comments or on social media! To hear even more partnership ideas, listen to Beyond the Technique podcast episode 36. Be sure to check back for our weekly blog and podcast!