HOW TO GIVE YOUR SALES A MASSIVE BOOST, PART 2: STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
Here, we will cover strategic alliances as another effective and smart marketing strategy for small business. Although, this marketing strategy is often used by big business to ensure their own viability, this is a strategy that is rarely and creatively used by owners and managers of bars, pubs, club, restaurants and coffee shops. However, small businesses nowadys operate in a very competitive environment, and teaming up with other businesses might be a matter not just of building a thriving business, but also of survival.
For big business, a strategic alliance is any collaborative arrangement by which companies share capital, technology, distribution networks, manufacturing facilities or a host of other resources. For small business, a strategic alliance means building a win/win relationship with non-competing local businesses, so everyone involved can reach their marketing goals.
In terms of the opportunities here, really the sky is the limit. With creativity and imagination, you can achieve spectacular results.
Here, we give some ideas for strategic alliances:
If you are a coffee shop or a restaurant, you can work with any local kitchenware store, hospitality supplies store, or the home appliances section of any department store - you can offer to serve your coffee or prepare food in front of their customers, using their utensils and appliances, coffee cups, sugar bowls, etc. You promote their product lines and, at the same time, you promote yourself by offering a great product and service to their customers. Make sure you have beautifully designed cards, postcards, or posters to hand out to customers with instructions about how to find you and your business hours.
Combine a mail-out or email campaign with any number of your neighbouring businesses. Include them in your regular print or email newsletter, and ask for a reciprocal inclusion. Also, put a link to their websites in return for them putting a link to your website. Our company is more than happy to promote our merchants on our website and promote them in our email newsletter.
Donate coffee, food, wine, and beer to a local charity fund-raiser.
Donate your catering services to a charity fund-raising event.
Donate coffee or food to local charities running ‘Rest, Revive, Survive’ stands on Australian roads.
Offer complimentary coffee, wine, beer, alcohol, food and catering services to any local businesses for their grand openings and special events.
Offer coffee, food, wine, or beer (sold at your cost) to the local car dealership to give away to customers taking cars for a test drive.
Offer local car repair garages free coupons for coffee, sandwiches, sushi, etc., to offer to their customers while waiting for their cars to be fixed. “Sell’ these to the garages at a nominal cost (20 cents each), invoiced once a month. They win by having some extra to offer to their customers and you win by getting their customers. This is a sure way to build your customer base.
Always make sure that you display your posters or logo at any event you choose to donate your products and services. Also, make sure that customers know how to find you by giving them your business cards, coupons or postcards.
As, you can see the possibilities here are limitless. For more information, great books, articles and business journals covering the topic of strategic alliances for small business click here Strategic Alliances.