My business partner over at The Swapaholics use to always say "a rising tide lifts all boats" and it quickly became our motto in business. We collaborated with every cool business we could across the country (Modcloth, 90+ Wines, Goodwill, Yoplait Yogurt, Pinkberry, Glad, Polar Soda, Lulus, Vitamin Water, Pop Chip, Pretzel Crisp...you name it we worked with them). We had a following and audience that brands wanted to get in front of, which is very valuable to big brands. Partnering with these large companies was vital to our small start up business with zero capital. So start collaborating today!
Join a Group for Local Business Owners:
Whether it's the restaurant owner recommending a dessert place, or the web designer recommending a copywriter, business is driven by referrals and connections. Local groups (like Worcester Local First) which meet regularly to tap into the power of collaboration and support — use referrals to develop genuine relationships and share advice with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Build Relationships with Like-Minded Businesses:
There’s a multitude of ways for you to reach out to other companies who share the same views on customer service, business management, product development, etc. This could be as simple as referring your customers to their business, mentioning them on social media, co-hosting workshops, displaying each other’s marketing materials or offering reciprocal discounts. A savvy business owner needs to think of alliances that could bring value to his/her own customers, as well as an opportunity to expand his/her visibility to new audiences.
Adopt a "Support Small Business" Mindset at Your Own Company:
Analyze your current vendors and service providers. Are there any places where you could be supporting a small business? Who supplies the merchandise you sell or the office products you use? Who caters your special events? Look for opportunities to hire, contract, or buy from other local, independent businesses. This shows your community that you’re heeding your own message to support small, local companies
Create a marketing strategy or campaign that promotes another business, or group of businesses. In a co-marketing partnership, both companies promote a piece of content or a product, and share results of that promotion with each other.
An example of content that can be shared by 3 stores in the same neighborhood: Spend Mothers Day shopping in The Canal District! Crompton Collective, Alexis Grace and Birch Alley are filling their shops with special treats to spoil mom! #ShopWOO