Business owners have to be creative when it comes to cost effective ways to promote a product or service. Advertising has its place, but it is critical that any advertising and marketing efforts have a return on investment. Joint ventures are an extremely effective and low-cost way to market your business and increase profit.
There are many simple ways to step into the joint venture arena. Think about sharing these ideas with a joint venture partner:
- Exchange links on your websites
- Include information in your newsletters about your joint venture partner
- Display information on counter tops
- Place information in shopping bags, billings or other mailings
- Share a booth at a tradeshow or event
- Write articles for each other’s newsletters
- Provide prizes for fundraising events for various organizations
- Become involved with a local non-profit or non-profit event that allows you to be seen as benefactors.
Find businesses and service providers in your industry or a cross-related industry and approach them about with your joint venture idea. Here are some examples of creative joint ventures to get your juices flowing:
- Make up Artist/ Bridal Shop: The make-up artist kept bridal shop and prom information in her kit and passed it to potential clients when she was out on a job. The bridal store displayed the make-up artist’s information on their counter.
- Travel Agent/ Wedding Planner: The wedding planner kept the travel agent information available for her clients to book honeymoons and received a free trip for every so many clients she sent to the agent.
- Real Estate Agent/ Moving Company: The real estate agent negotiated a discounted moving rate within a local area for her clients. The moving company received additional advertising in the agent’s newsletter.
- Small Pet Shop/ Dog Groomer/ Animal Shelter: The pet shop offered the groomer’s services and helped to promote the local animal shelter fundraising events. The groomer offered services to the shelter and the pet shop. The shelter promoted the pet shop and the groomer to people who adopted pets.
- Travel Agent/ Luggage Store/ Non-wrinkle clothing line: The travel agent promoted both the luggage store and the non-wrinkle clothing line. The luggage store included the travel agent’s card and information about the non-wrinkle clothing in their luggage and on the counter. The clothing line consultant promoted the luggage store and the travel agent during her consultations.
By thinking of scenarios where both parties benefit, joint venture opportunities abound. Pick a target market that you don’t always reach, but your potential joint venture partner does. Then brainstorm as to the type of cross-promotion you would like to do. Bring that to your potential joint venture partner and explain what it is that you envision. Be sure to highlight the benefits to the other party. Also, make sure that you outline what the responsibilities are for each project you work on together. That way, you’ll avoid misunderstandings. Use joint ventures to increase exposure and profit. Be creative and have fun!