Thursday, March 20, 2014

Local business partners

     Any small business can extend its reach by partnering with other local businesses. Two businesses come together to hold open houses, informational meetings, workshops and other gatherings. These attract more attention than either business acting alone.

     Informal gatherings are popular with the public. Especially if they are free. People are hungry for how-to information. They want to ask questions and get answers from people who know.

     You don't need to rent a hall. Most places can accommodate a dozen people.

     Talk to another local business owner. Set up an open house at your place or the other. Invite your customers with phone calls, emails, Facebook announcements and the like. 

     Encourage attendance by emphasizing that it is free. No obligation. Tell them to bring their questions--and guests.

     Example: A landscaper partners with a book store to offer free seminar on taking care of yards, designing new landscapes, how-to information on pruning shrubs. Hold the session at the book store. This introduces people interested in gardening to the local book store, and vice versa.

     Example: A small accounting office partners with a financial planner. Hold an open--and free--meeting on taxes, retirement possibilities, inheritance set-ups, and more. Bring your questions.

     Example: A computer expert (repair, web site designer, etc.) partners with a local cafe. Everyone has questions about computing. And attendees get to know another place to grab a bite to eat.

     Example: A florist partners with a wedding specialist to hold a workshop on how to make that special day more special. Add a caterer to furnish hors d'oeuvres.

     Small businesses can benefit by partnering to hold events. A free event generates excitement in the local community. These gatherings help people, and they introduce your business to people who might not know you and what you do. 
     If your business is not among the examples, not to worry. There are endless possibilities among local businesses to partner for events. Think about it.

     Get started. Make a list of five possible partners. Talk to each one. Set up an event--you'll need 2 to 4 weeks to get the word out. See how it goes.

     In the future, plan to hold an event every month with different partners. You will be increasing the circle of your clients and customers. You have everything to gain and little to lose. 



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