If not, you may want to consider starting a JV* with someone.
*Your JV partner is the person or business that you enter a Joint Venture agreement with for cross selling and cross advertising opportunities.
A great JV example would be a wedding gown store and a hair salon, since they have some overlap with their customer demographics. Or how about the wedding gown store doing a JV with a photographer and a bakery?
Take a minute and think about what they all have in common:
Their target demographic is women... but look further. Yes, the bakery, salon, and photographer have a wide variety of customers, and the bridal gown store generally sells to brides. In fact, brides are the one thing all of these businesses have in common, and when a bride-to-be shops at one of these kinds of businesses, she usually needs one or more of the other businesses.
A JV between any or all of these types of businesses would broaden each ones' customer base and increase sales.
What a JV can do for these particular businesses is:
- The hair salon, bakery, photographer, and wedding store can put their brochures at each others' businesses.
- The wedding store hosts a fashion show co-sponsored by the hair salon, bakery and photographer.
- The bakery writes up a "What's new in wedding cake design" article for the monthly newsletter sent out by the wedding store. (This establishes the bakery as an expert on current trends in wedding cakes.) This article could also be published on the photographer's blog when he delves in to subjects related to wedding photography.
- The photographer sends the gown store and bakery copies of their photos of brides wearing that gown shops dresses and/or cutting that bakery's cakes to be displayed in the respective shops - and the photographer's name is watermarked on the picture.
- The bakery provides free samples at the gown store - for customers to taste as they try on dresses.
- The wedding gown store hosts a wedding dress event and invites all the contacts of the bakery, salon and photographer. The photographer is in the store, photographing brides-to-be as they try on their future wedding dresses for the very first time. The photographer then offers copies of the photos to these young women for their wedding album. Of course, the photo prints have the photographer's watermark on the front and business card on the back.
- The bakery and the photographer work together to put together a portfolio of wedding cakes. The bakery gets the portfolio and recommends the photographer to customers who order their cakes.
- The salon and photographer work to put together a similar portfolio agreement.
- Get the hair salon involved and one of the stylists can do free style demos at the gown shop one Saturday a month. The salon can send an invitation to all their existing customers to attend the demo. (This gets the salon customers into the gown shop and introduces all the gown customers to the salon stylist.)
- The gown store offers a discount to any bride who orders her cake from that bakery. The gown store also offers a discount to any wedding party who schedules a certain number of hairstyles from the salon. The possibilities to offer a discount for doing business with ones JV are endless.
Other businesses that could join these three in the Joint Venture would be:
printing and engraving shop
kitchen store (for kitchen ware and dining goods, probably not cabinets)
DJ or band, etc.
True, these businesses don't focus solely on brides, but working out a JV agreement with other businesses that share this niche would absolutely capitalize on the sales strategies of each business involved.
How do you think you could use a JV for your own business? Can you think of at least two businesses that would be a great JV partner for you? Please leave a comment here with your business (and a link!) and one or two ideas on what kind of business you can work with to arrange a Joint Venture.
If you're having a hard time thinking of a potential JV partner for your business, please leave a comment here with a description of what you do and a link to your site and I'll see what ideas I can come up with to help you.