How Health Businesses Can Take Advantage of Business Partnerships
Originally Published Feb 12, 2021
If you’ve ever seen a car dealership promoting the coffee shop next door or a massage therapist recommending a GP, then you’ve just witnessed a cross-promotional business partnership. And as a small business owner, you can take part as well!
Cross-promoting relevant businesses, otherwise known as partnership marketing, within your own marketing strategy is a fantastic way to create win-win solutions for brands looking to efficiently expand their audience.
But, what exactly is a business partnership and how can you create one? Let’s find out.
What is a business partnership?
A business partnership is one of the best marketing strategies for small business owners since it allows you to capitalise on another brand’s audience in a cross-promotional capacity.
“Even the busiest business owners can attract more customers with less effort through the right strategic cross-promotional marketing strategy. Why? Because it will allow you to connect with other relevant and vibrant people and businesses in your community. It will allow you to reach your target market more efficiently, organically, credibly, and memorably with the right offers and services.”
James Duffy, Head of Marketing Physio Inq
We get it. If you’re a small business, your advertising budget probably isn’t much. So, one way around that while continuing to increase your audience base is to go into a business partnership where you agree to various exchanges.
For example, you might partner with a neighbouring business to run a co-hosted event in your suburb. Or you might sponsor a local soccer team. You could simply offer to leave your business partner’s brochures in your lobby if they agree to do the same.
Social media is another great way to exchange digital advertising. For example, you might enter into a digital partnership where once a month, you agree to post about your partner’s brand and, in exchange, they’ll do the same.
Image Source: Physio Inq
By taking advantage of cross-promotional opportunities, you’re not only able to trade what’s normally expensive marketing and advertising space, but you’re also engaging with your community in a way that’s mutually beneficial. Basically, it’s a win-win for everyone!
So, how can you get started? Below, we’re exploring how to market and advertise a small business through cross-promotional business partnerships.
Put It on the Calendar
When it comes to getting things done, one of the best ways to make sure it actually happens is by putting it on the calendar. Make it part of your regular schedule to target one or two businesses every month and reach out to them about a potential partnership.
This calendar approach doesn’t have to be arbitrary either. Think about what time of year would be best to reach out to each of your partnership options.
For example, for physiotherapy businesses looking for partnerships, you might go for gym partnerships in January in the heat of New Years’ resolution season and collaborate with GPs in February after the school holidays end and their offices reopen.
Putting your business partnership outreach program on the calendar then not only keeps you on schedule but it can also help give you ideas based on the time of year.
Make a List of Potential Partners
Chances are, when you reach out to potential partners, some will say yes and some will say no. That’s why you need to create a long list of businesses to pitch to.
In our case as a physiotherapy business, we like to partner with other healthcare businesses like doctors, gyms, massage therapy clinics, and sports clubs. However, if you’re a hairdresser, you might reach out to nail salons or beauty product manufacturers about a partnership.
Get creative and think about your clients or customers. What other services do they often require in addition to yours that someone else might be able to better provide? It could even be as simple as partnering with the coffee shop next door.
The idea is to think of a mutually beneficial partnership that can help with not only your small business marketing but with their marketing endeavours as well.
Create a Process for Reaching Out
Once you’ve got a list of potential partnerships ready to go, you’ll want to create a process for reaching out to everyone. Write out a general pitch, leaving space to personalise the message once it’s ready. Just make sure all the most important information is there.
Figure out what you can offer and why they should want to partner with you. Make sure you make a clear outline of what a cross-promotional partnership looks like for you and give them examples of what they might be able to offer in return.
For example, in your pitch you might offer:
- One social media post per month
- Promotional brochures available in your lobby
- Their logo and business information on your website
- Their products available for purchase in your office
- Co-hosted or sponsored events every year
Depending on your respective products and services, each partnership will vary. So, it’s a good idea to tailor every pitch to reflect each potential partners’ offerings.
Still, setting up a system will make it easier on you when you go to reach out to each business on your list. You can create a system by:
- Writing an email template
- Keeping a spreadsheet with potential partners’ products and services
- Personalising each email with the business owner's name (and make sure you spell it correctly!)
When you have these systems in place, you’ll have less excuses when it comes time to organise your next round of pitches and helps you keep everything organised.
Prepare Marketing Collateral
Now that you’ve sent out your proposals and hopefully received some interest, it’s time to prepare your marketing collateral. Basically, you’ll need to figure out what you promised to your new business partner and how you can best deliver on those promises.
You might have to prepare a media kit to send to your new partner including your logo and relevant copy that they can use in cross-promotional materials, making sure that your brand is well represented.
Additional marketing collateral for your new partnership might include:
- Social media graphics and copy
- Blog posts
- Gift baskets
- Event planning
Again, depending on what you agree to in the initial stages of the partnership, the marketing collateral will vary.
However, setting up another system of sending through your media kit and perhaps even a style guide can be helpful for your business partner to create the best cross-promotions possible.
“A cross-promotion marketing strategy is also a phenomenal way to cut marketing costs and improving your overall ROI in marketing. Get in a consistent habit of doing business promotion for you and your partner businesses wherever you go, and you'll be surprised how word-of-mouth builds within your community. Play the long-term game and not the short term when it comes to accessing results from your cross-promotion marketing strategy? Be patient.”
James Duffy, Head of Marketing Physio Inq
As with all digital marketing for small business endeavours, it’s so important to get creative with your approach. The sky is the limit in terms of what you can do to cross-promote your business partnerships.
Start by getting creative with who you’d like to partner with in the first place. If you’re a health business, of course, go for the obvious candidates. But also feel free to take risks and reach out to less obvious contenders.
Of course, you want your partnerships to be relevant and you want to actually have something to offer your partners. But, you can get really creative with who you reach out to.
Additionally, thinking outside the box in how you cross-promote each others’ businesses is a fun and rewarding part of the process.
Maybe you’ll put on an event that shows the fun side of your brand outside of being an expert health practitioner. Or, you’ll take everything virtual and see how that goes.
Overall, be sure to really consider your partner’s business and form a truly collaborative approach.
With these simple steps, you can take your health business to the next level through strategic partnerships that are collaborative and mutually beneficial.
Partnerships not only help you advertise your small business on a budget, but they help you interact with your community. Plus, you’re able to offer your clients and customers a wide variety of products and services without having to do it all yourself. Simply refer them to your partners!
However you go about creating business partnership, the choice is yours. But, by simply getting started, you can grow your business in a community-centred way that’s beneficial for everyone. So, get those pitches ready and snag your first business partnership today!
Want to learn how your business can benefit from business partnership marketing? Reach out to our Pinq Business Partner Cultivator James Appleton at email@example.com or call him directly on (02) 9158 6131 for your FREE Business Consultation.
If you are interested in reading more about marketing for your business, check out our other blogs:
The information provided on this blog is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.