Entering the market as a new player can be disheartening, especially when the playground is full of big kids. However, as analysts are now suggesting, larger corporations are beginning to recognise the benefits of collaboration with smaller, entrepreneurial businesses.
A large business can not only offer smaller business instant credibility, and brand recognition but also indirectly help use the affiliation to their advantage in recruiting prospective clients to accelerate growth. While the smaller business in return can offer innovative products, a more contemporary image, and potentially open them up to target markets they have yet to explore.
Many entrepreneurs and start-up businesses dismiss the idea of collaborating with large corporations, simply because they are not sure how to go about it or they think it is an unattainable concept. This is where they go wrong. As humans, we are constantly looking for opportunities to better our lives. And the same goes for large companies. They are constantly looking for fresh ideas, new ways to stand out and avoid remaining stagnant in an ever-changing market.
Here are some top tips to find, approach, hook and sustain partnerships with the big corporations.
- How to look for big companies right for your business
Not all companies in your industry should be considered competition, in fact any business that you relate to in any way, shape or form can be seen as a potential alliance. A business you intend to collaborate with should have similar values, and a goal that aligns with yours. However, you should never jump on an opportunity simply because it arises. Much like a marriage – the partnership will need to form on the basis of a connection, or it simply will not flourish or last.
- How to approach the big corporations
In this age of digital media, one simple way of approaching and partnering with most big companies is by using performance marketing and advertising platforms. When I started my business, rather working with clients directly, I worked with performance networks to access big online retailers who were already willing to work with publishers. For example, by using partnership marketplaces such as Impact.com or Rakuten Marketing, approved publishers are able to find and selectively partner from a pool of brands and retailers looking to advertise and promote their offers. If you have a particular business you’re looking to target for a potential partnership, it will be in your best interest to find and touch base with the relevant contacts and ensure you have a business plan. This can include your case studies and media deck to highlight the benefits you can bring to the table.
- How to lock in a partnership with the big companies
Any good quality website (every business should have one) can monetise their traffic by referring their customers and driving sales to brands. Big brands and retailers want to work with quality publishers e.g blog, social influencer, community, comparison, review, or any website with a fairly large customer base. This includes websites that can drive quality traffic and conversions to them. With a mutually agreed pricing agreement, websites can make it possible for companies to leverage and tap into their marketing and advertising offerings. After you have decided what you want out of the partnership and have put forward the benefits you can offer, the next thing to do is wait. Although bothersome, larger companies have a lot more to consider in comparison to a smaller business, and therefore require more time to make decisions. Follow up if needed.
- How to keep the relationship with the large corporations
Continually work on the relationship. Ensure you are investing a suitable amount of your time and energy into the partnership – because the stronger the relationship, the more successful it will be for both parties. Make them utilise your best placements and exposure opportunities to drive growth and ROI. You will need to remain transparent at all times and work together closely to reach the goals you set out to achieve.
Katt Srinivasan, Founder, TheBargainAvenue.com.au