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March 10, 2009


Partnerships and joint ventures are becoming the way for smallbusinesses to move to the next level. As consolidation increasingly characterizes manyindustries, many smaller companies are riding upon the coattails of larger companies.Joining forces with a well-known company gives your business instant credibility and agreat springboard from which to market.

Remember that partnerships often begin with personal relationships andmove on from there. People want to do business with their friends and other individualswith whom they are comfortable ? gotta schmooze. But even with these personalrelationships, you have to bring something to the table to make a partnership worthwhile.As an entrepreneur, you will often have to give up more than the larger company does inorder to form a partnership with a better-known company. But it?s well worth theprice to be able to associate your company with an industry leader.

As a start to forming partnerships, find businesses that complementyours and try and establish a working relationship with them. Frequent industry shows,schmoozy networking parties, and any other place you think will give you a chance to meetcontacts. And build your circle -- find out who your friends can put you in touch with.Try to get to know these secondary contacts on a personal level before you jump intosuggesting partnership ideas. Take them out to breakfast or lunch to discuss what?sgoing on with their business. Even if you are not able to form a partnership, this personmay refer you to individuals who may want your product or service.

There are myriad ways to form fruitful partnerships. Try a dualpromotion. Or offer their brochures in your stores. Put a link to their store on your website. Even a small way of recognizing the other company will create the opportunity forbigger things down the road.


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