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#BusinessTipTuesday – National Good Neighbor Day

On September 28th, National Good Neighbor Day is observed! In Pennsylvania alone there are over 999,000 small businesses, which means there are plenty of opportunities to connect with other small businesses. Working or partnering with other local businesses is a great way to spread your name and/or reach more customers. As well, creating alliances can help you share resources, techniques, or expertise. There may even be ways that an alliance with another business can help to save money. Small businesses need to stick together, so what better day to celebrate our neighboring businesses than on Good Neighbor Day!

If you decide that this is a great idea for your small business it is time to identify potential partners. Ideally, choosing a business that provides complimentary services would be the one to go with. Once you narrow down who you would like to create this partnership by weighing the pros and cons, it would be time to pitch the idea to the other business and see if they are interested. If the other owner is interested then you would work out the details of the partnership. Putting everything in writing would be a good idea, as this ensures a baseline of rules that you can refer to at any time, and then there will be no confusion moving forward. An example of this model would be that you own a lunch café, offering soups, sandwiches, and salads, but are interested in offering sweets to your customers. Although you do not have a baker on the staff. Searching for a local bakery to provide the treats would be the best alliance you could create. After looking into a few neighboring businesses, ranging from 5- 15 miles away, you have chosen the business you think would make a great partner. Approaching them with a list of ideas on how to partner up and seeing if they are interested is what you plan to do next. If the meeting goes well then you are set! Define the terms of your relationship, put them in writing, and then let people know of the partnership you have created.

If you are stuck on how to utilize neighboring small businesses to partner with, here are a few ideas:

  • Host events at either business and have your partner there to show off what they offer. Both businesses can invite their customers by spreading the word in the business, online, or through invitations. People love a night out and would look forward to something new and exciting being offered.
  • Offer deals that combine products or services of both the businesses. For example, customers can purchase from one business and receive a percentage off a purchase at the other business. Let customers know of the deal and they may be more apt to purchase from two instead of one.
  • As partnership, both businesses could co-sponsor a cause. This is a great way to involve a charity and participate in giving back to the community. Both businesses could either give a percentage of a night’s sales to the charity or run an event that collects items for that charity.
  • Utilize each other’s assets may seem like a basic task but it can be very helpful. This is all about networking and each business has their own group of colleagues, so sharing helpful contacts with your alliance is a great way to help each other out.
  • Guest blogging is another great idea for businesses if they have blogs. Offer an article you have written to other business’s blogs so they can post it and help to spread the word of your business. As well, see if any other local businesses would like to write a post for your blog.

Use National Good Neighbor Day to celebrate alliances with local small businesses. Help each other out and create a stronger network of local entrepreneurs. The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center is happy to assist with any of your small business needs. Visit www.scrantonsbdc.comfor more information about our center!

Danielle Guari
Business Consultant
The University of Scranton
Small Business Development Center

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