Partnerships are a great way to grow a business. Big businesses have known this for a while – for example, laptop computers that are bundled with software packages. Or gym memberships that provide discounts for sports stores. But this same approach can be applied to small businesses – like yours – as well.
When people are planning a big event, like a wedding, they often look to a vendor they trust for additional referrals. This creates happy, loyal customers for both businesses, which drives word-of-mouth and additional referrals in the future!
Wondering how to create a partnership that will help grow your wedding business? Just follow these 4 simple steps:
1. Pick a partner who is already in the wedding industry. This might seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how ‘creative’ people can get when they want to break into a new market! Look for another business who understands your shared audience, as well as how your two offerings or services – combined – will provide a better experience for brides and grooms. For example, if you’re a florist, it might make more sense for you to partner with a videographer who specializes in weddings, than with a video production company that has never filmed a wedding before.
2. Make contact with that potential partner. This is often the scariest part of the process. However, you aren’t going to get another business to partner with you if they don’t even know who you are. There are several ways to do this – either in person (for example, at an upcoming Great Bridal Expo event!), or you can do some online research. Check out their website and their social media pages. Look up their reviews on Google or Yelp. If it looks like their approach is similar to yours, then they might be a perfect partner!
3. Propose a joint promotion. Once you’ve reached out, you’ll need to suggest some ideas on how you can work together in a way creates a win-win situation for your two businesses, as well as helping future brides and grooms. Get creative – for example, you can write blog posts for each other’s websites, promote each other on social media, or even offer a special ‘package’ that combines both your offerings for a discount. Or you can keep it simple and agree to simply introduce each other’s products or services when speaking with interested clients.
4. Test it out! The only way you’ll know if the partnership is working is by introducing it to your clients and then getting their feedback. What do they think when you introduce the concept? Are they excited about the combined offering? And most importantly, does it drive business to your partner – and does your partner drive business to you? Not every cross-promotion is a big success, so you’ll want to monitor in case it doesn’t work the way you’d hoped. The key is having a good enough relationship with your partner, so you can review and revise the offering in a way that works for both of you.
Once you’ve created your first successful partnership, you’ll want to look at additional partners you can work with from other areas in your industry. So, if you’re a photographer who has successfully partnered with a florist, you might want to consider extending this to include a bakery as well. Who knows – you could have a win-win-win partnership on your hands!
If you’d like to do more networking for partnerships that will help grow your wedding business, send an email to email@example.com and we’ll have one of our Marketing Specialists talk you through what’s possible!