How Partnerships Can Take Your Business to the Next Level

Consider striking up collaborations with other companies and community organizations - because the right partnerships could help boost your small business sales and brand awareness.

A strategic partnership can make a difference in a business's growth and success, creating "a win for everyone involved," Katie Culp, partner at Benchmark ONE, writes in an article for the St. Louis-based marketing solutions company.

According to a SCORE article, business partnerships can turn into collaborations that benefit both sides.

"Strategic partnerships can work for businesses at almost any stage of growth, and they can range from relatively minor arrangements, such as co-marketing your products, to more important functions, such as licensing another company's technology to use in the websites you build," adds the business mentors group.

Drives Growth, Revenues

Businesses can cultivate growth and gain a competitive advantage by investing in partnerships, according to a report by Forrester Consulting.

The report says that no matter the type of partnership, it has become necessary to help companies increase their revenue by reaching prospective customers that may not be accessible otherwise.

In its survey, Forrester found about three-quarters of businesses considered partnerships an integral component of their sales and marketing plan.

Additionally, survey respondents agree that such partnerships provide a high and expanding share of the total revenue.

According to the Forrester survey, more than half of the businesses surveyed (52%) receive over 20% of their revenue through partnerships. The collaborators provide nearly a quarter of the total company revenue.

Improves Customer Experience

The best partnerships improve overall customer experience, says Katharine Lau, CEO and co-founder of the Brooklyn-based self-storage company Stuf, in an Inc. article.

Lau talked about the "casual" partnership she forged with the owner of a moving company - neither gets a cut from recommending the other, but it's a deal that benefits both of them.

In the article, Lau told staff reporter Rebecca Deczynski that their partnership with the moving company allows them to ensure a seamless customer experience from start to finish. 

Boosts Brand Awareness

A business partnership can also increase each collaborator's brand awareness and overall audience reach.

Partnerships are at the core of a Kansas City-based startup that launched a gifting app this year called afloat. The app allows users to find partnering local businesses to create packaged gifts that provide a same-day delivery service. 

Entrepreneurs Olivia Lynn, Laura McKnight, and Sarah-Allen Preston are partnering with a wide range of local businesses, most recently landing a collaboration with Made in KC, a curator and retailer of locally-made goods with shops, cafes, and marketplaces across Kansas City.

The app launched on February 1 in Kansas City and Dallas.

In an article in Startland News by Channa Steinmetz, Preston shared their excitement to launch in the two cities, including experiencing the gratitude of seeing relationships being celebrated in addition to supporting local businesses. 

Preston said they were surprised by how well the business has taken off, looking forward to the continued growth.

Grows Sales

Businesses should make partnerships part of their robust sales strategy, writes Catherine Erdly, founder of The Resilient Retail Club, in a Forbes post

Collaborations are an excellent tactic for growing sales and audiences by working with a complementary and non-competitive business, she says.

"Retailers can reach out and tap into the most engaged part of the partner business's audience – an audience that's highly likely to like the type of offering," Erdly writes.

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