Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with a prospect who’s asking for something you technically could do but it’s a bit outside of scope for your business? Most small business owners will find themselves in this predicament at some point in their career. On one hand, you could agree to the work knowing that it will be a heavy lift and place a burden on your team. On the other hand, you could say “we don’t really do that” and risk losing the business. Neither of these are great options, but you want to close the deal. 

What if there was another way to get the business without burdening your team or meandering out of scope? 

If you like desserts, today is your lucky day because we’re going to show you how to have your cake and eat it, too. You can land this deal through strategic industry partnerships with like-minded companies. This is a fancy way to say—get to know other companies in your industry who do something similar—but not exactly—like what you do, get to know them, and create a mutual bench of services either of you can call on when clients ask for the moon. 

 

Partners, Not Competitors 

The right strategic partnerships with brands like yours can create more connections, amplify your reach, and help you do more for your clients. Some business owners may shy away from partnering with similar agencies because of the obvious competition concern. But what if you started viewing these other businesses as potential partners rather than competitors? 

In a world full of agency and freelance specialists, strategic partnerships are often an overlooked opportunity. Here at Cross & Crown, we have several key partnerships with other creative agencies that have proven to grow all of our businesses and help our clients more than we could do on our own. We’ve been able to work with these agencies as a team and all of our clients benefit because we can do more when we work together. (If you’re a creative agency and want to discuss partnerships, let’s talk!) 

 

Compliment, Not Compete 

The key is identifying partners that compliment rather than compete with what you do. In our industry, there are not many firms that “do it all” in terms of marketing, branding, design, communications and public relations. For example, some companies focus strictly on strategy, lead generation, and content while others specialize in code, back-end web development, and design. These are not in competition because they offer different specialities. Together these two agencies compliment each other and can team up to make their services even more attractive to potential clients.  

Are there unnoticed opportunities to do this in your industry? Think about the businesses you bump against in the community and take a closer look to see if you are actually not competitors but complementors. Maybe you could partner with a company that isn’t playing in your sandbox but has awesome toys to build an epic castle. Playground politics aside, inviting another business into what you do and leveraging their specialities may give you the competitive edge you’re looking for to win more clients.

 

Like Mindedness Is the Glue 

To make these partnerships work you have to be like-minded not just in business but in vision, mission, and philosophy. This is not a relationship you want to rush into. If there is a business you think you could partner with like this, get to know them first and make sure that your values align. Afterall, when you enter into a partnership like this you become brand ambassadors for one another so make sure that this is a brand you fully trust and support before making any agreements. 

Strategic partnerships allow you to offer more services and help your clients in ways you can’t on your own. If you’re struggling to wrap your mind around how this is a good thing for business, a change of perspective may help you see this as a win-win.. Give us a call and we can talk you through it. We’d love to share more with you on a personal level how our own strategic partnerships are helping us do more for our clients than we could do on our own.

 

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