I came across a blog the other day written several years ago by Al Lautenslager for Entrepreneur.com.
He tells a story of walking into the dry cleaners and finding a $5-off coupon for the pizza joint a few doors away. Deciding to enjoy some pizza, he walks to the pizza place to redeem the coupon and there on the counter he finds a $5-off coupon for the dry cleaner. This might be called reciprocal marketing or, as Al suggests, fusion marketing. Whatever you call it, it makes sense.
A small business starting up faces a lot of challenges, and many of those challenges are due to limited resources. Small businesses have to find creative ways to establish themselves as legitimate competition for their often much larger competitors, and somehow reach enough customers to not only maintain itself, but to grow as well. It’s a daunting situation, and according to a recent working paper from Harvard summarizes that it is harder for those just starting to succeed. But those that do succeed show an interesting trend in ideas: a lot of the success comes from some form of collaboration, either in the form of funding or in the form of ideas passed on to beginning entrepreneurs from their former employers. But collaboration can go much deeper and be much more fulfilling than that.
Think of all the famous and successful business pairings there are and have been in the world. People like Ben and Jerry of ice cream fame or Warner Bros. moguls Sam, Jack, Albert, and Harry. There’s Bill Hewlett and David Packard; Richard and Maurice McDonald; and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak from Apple. So what makes a perfect business partner?
According to the Forbesarticle, “What to Look for in a Business Partner,” writer Melanie Lindner suggests five necessary traits to make a business partnership work. Continue reading →
In a recent press release, Hallmark, the world’s leading greeting card brand, announced a strategic alliance with Shutterfly Inc., a leading Internet-based digital photo site. The goal is to have “exclusive Hallmark-designed customizable cards featured on Shutterfly’s new personalized greeting card site, Treat.com.”