So you run a business, or you work in a business, or you would like to run or work in a business? Any way you look at it, this applies to you.
Business is all about connections; Business to business connections, business to consumer connections, employee to employer connections, employee to employee connections, etc. There are ways that each connection can help you and hurt you, and steps you can take so that each connection can be improved/more helpful.
One connection in particular can be more helpful than a lot of people think, that’s a business to business connection. I guarantee that if your name is out in the open, linked to your company, you have been contacted time and again by various companies. Most of the time they are marketing or selling their services, trying to get a link to their website from you, or something else that helps them (regardless of whether or not it helps you). And most times, we just delete these emails, hang up on their calls, and erase their voicemails.
But in tough economic times, where being creative and innovative is key to finding long term success, maybe its time to rethink that strategy.
There are many times when you can use various business connections to your advantage, even if it is not immediately evident from an email or sales call. For example, could a link to your website help you out? Could you advertise with them in exchange for exclusive rights or privileges? Do they have a distribution method you could use to your advantage?
Face it, there are companies out there that do some things better than you do. Teaming with them so that you are both serving each other could give you some leverage and help you move forward. Don’t be afraid to give something up to get something in return either. Maybe you can offer discounted features, free advertising, or something else in return for a partnership.
One example that might help illustrate this point came to me from a friend of mine in the marketing industry. He works as a consultant for a major clothing distributor who recently redesigned their website/services. They decided to form an online advertising partnership with a growing music service/network to launch a combined affiliate program across the web. This was an idea that developed very rapidly from a chance phone call and one that has already paid off in a very short time.
What kinds of business deals can you pull off to keep moving forward? Think about it, and act on it. It could lead to new business and stronger connections inside and outside of your industry.