Strategic Alliances occur when two or more trades who target the same customer type work together to cross promote each other. It will be worth its weight in gold to sit down (maybe brainstorm with a friend or loved one) and give some serious thought to which businesses you can join up with, and which businesses have a natural affinity to your business.
A strong alliance of traders who work together and promote each other will be worth many £1000’s every single year. Doing this alone could double your business in a year!
Say you run a carpet cleaning company, you could you join up with:
- Independent carpet shops
- Other cleaning companies who don’t offer carpet cleaning
- Other carpet cleaning companies who don’t do domestic / commercial (which you do / prefer)
- Oven cleaners
- Local carpet wholesalers
- Home improvement specialists
- Ceilings and partitions
- Letting agents / estate agents
It may be worth offering a sweetener in the early days of the relationship too, though do bear in mind that you should also be able to give business back to them too.
Oh yes! You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours is still very much alive!
As with everything, it is how you sell the idea that will make a difference to whether they will be happy to recommend you (or not) to their valuable customers.
So, a carpet cleaning company could sell the idea to building firms on the basis that it will look really good on them as a building company if they state to their customers they will have the carpets cleaned before they do the hand over after the work is completed!
Obviously the cost of this work is absorbed in the overall price to their customer anyway, but it makes the building company look amazing and incredibly customer focused and will give them the edge when they are quoting, even if they are slightly more expensive!
And don’t forget, of course, if you do want to talk to someone about forming a strategic alliance, don’t forget to take a bag of donuts!
Your job today is to write down a list of all the other businesses you can think of who you can to join forces with. Go through the phone book or do a Google search for all the businesses in your area you could join with, then write them a sales letter.