I’m a huge fan of cross-promotional opportunities. The right alliances with similar and dissimilar businesses can be a great advantage for salon owners, as it heightens visibility and introduces your salon to a wider audience. Partnerships exist in many forms including:
You name it, and you can partner on it. Though partnerships can be very beneficial, when considering working with other businesses there are a few points to consider and questions to ask before you make a final decision. Here are six points to consider before forming a partnership.
1. Are You Hosting or Partnering?
This is an important question because it could be the difference between you paying a nominal fee to participate or a huge expense to host at your location. Make sure you understand, up front, if you are utilizing your space, providing supplies etc. Hosting means you are responsible for the entire affair, while partnering could mean you are only handling one aspect, donating a service or paying a fee to participate.
2. What Are the Costs?
Before you agree to anything, find out what the investment is and get it in writing. If you have any financial responsibilities in the partnership, it's your job to determine that before you do business. There’s nothing worse than agreeing to something early on only to be hit with an invoice later. Do your research, ask for numbers and sign a contract if necessary to solidify your agreement.
3. Do You Have Exclusivity Rights?
When businesses ask to partner, they usually try to go with one business from various sectors they are targeting – but not always. If you are being asked to partner on any venture, ask if you will have exclusivity rights. If you are a nail salon, you should be the only nail salon. If there’s a hair salon that offers nail services, make sure it’s clear they won’t be promoting the same services. Ensuring you are exclusive and not competing for the same clients with other businesses as part of your agreement eliminates confusion after the fact.
4. What Are the Benefits?
Before you get into any agreement, ask how the partnership will benefit your business. Many times, the initiator will have outlined these benefits and can talk to you in-depth about them. For example, if it is an event it could include a certain number of attendees or your business logo as part of an ad. Whatever it is, make sure you are clear about what you're getting before diving in.
5. What Type of Advertising, Marketing or PR is Available?
Ask, but I say this with the side note – “if applicable”. Not every partnership will include marketing, but if you are participating in an event, for example, you should know what types of communications will be going out with your name and business on it and to whom it is being sent to. This component of a partnership alone could make your relationship worth the spend.
6. Draw Up a Contract.
Maybe this is a no-brainer for some, but for the overzealous who get caught up and carried away with lofty ideas, make sure you have a contract in place. It doesn't have to be a long, exhaustive document, but something that outlines each party’s responsibilities, benefits, financial obligations etc.
Lastly, be smart when forming a partnership with other businesses. Managing expectations is important to the success of any alliance. Make it work for you and your interests. Ask the questions mentioned above and think through every scenario.
Breaking It Down
In this post, partnering with similar and dissimilar businesses can increase visibility and awareness for you and your salon. When partnering with other businesses be sure to use the above checklist to ask the important questions, especially what your ROI (return on investment) will be and remember, it is not always money. By managing expectations about time, effort and money with upfront due diligence, alliances and partnerships will be a win-win for everyone involved. Having a hard time asking for what you want? Try these two online classes to help you ease into effortless communication.
Active Listening Online Class
To form the right partnerships, we have to communicate our needs, desires and wants and for some of us, that is not always easy. If listening is a skill you want to hone, then this online class is for you. You will learn the subtle nuances of verbal and nonverbal communication with an emphasis on active listening.
Effective Decision Making Online Class
Take this online class to help you manage everything from potential conflict to communication barriers.
Tiffani Douglas is an author, speaker, beauty-marketing consultant and licensed nail technician with over 20 years experience in the beauty industry.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Tiffani worked her way through college as a manicurist to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, with a concentration in strategic marketing. After college, she went on to work in corporate America as a marketing and media maven, but ever passionate about the beauty industry, she founded her own mobile spa.
During that time she also began consulting other beauty professionals in the areas of marketing and branding, which sparked an idea to write two e-books, Social Media Marketing: A Guide for Beauty Professionals and Are You a True Beauty Professional– 7 Practical Steps to Being More Professional, Upgrading Your Business and Increasing Your Revenue. She recently released her first published book, Straight Outta Beauty School - 10 Things You Need to Know and Do After You Graduate.
Tiffani resides in Dallas, Texas where she continues to inspire beauty pros young and old by offering them the tools they need to grow personally and professionally.
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