Everything’s better with friends – movies, road trips, social media and of course, competitions. If you’re looking for new business buddies to collaborate with, competitions are the perfect opportunity to test the waters with like-minded companies and make sure you get on like a house on fire… not burn the place to the ground.
Follow these fool-proof steps to making new professional friends and you’ll be bonding over your mutual love of 80s music in no time…
Step 1 – make a list.
The first step is to make up a list of potential non-competing businesses that complement yours and target the same audience as you do.
What do I mean by non-competing, complementary business?
Imagine your company provides photography services and you know of another business locally that provides videography services. You’re in a complimentary industry that often overlaps; but neither of you has any experience (or desire) to cross over into the other’s service, so you’re not in direct competition.
This is a perfect competition just waiting to happen. You could partner up to offer a photography plus video package to a lucky bride-to-be or small business looking for professional head shots and videos for their site.
You’ll get access to each others’ audiences and strengthen your offering at the same time as expanding your network and sharing the workload.
Step 2 – work out if you’re a good fit.
This means your working styles (would you be happy to be associated with your partner), your target audience (if your ideal customer is brides-to-be and theirs is c-suiters, it’s not exactly a match made in heaven) and their standard of work (are they up to the same standard as you?).
Step 3 – get in touch with them.
Send them a message, give them a call, shoot them an email or arrange a coffee catch up.
Let them know about your idea and see if you make a good match as per above. If they’re not interested, no matter, just move to the next one on the list. If they’re interested, see if you can meet in person. You’re going to need to like each other and be on the same page to make it work.
Step 4 – tackle your first project together.
Keep it small for the first one, and make sure you both have the time and energy to commit to it. Communication is key, so make sure it’s crystal clear who is responsible for what, before you begin.
Some things you may want to cover:
- Who will collect the entrants’ data
- How will it be shared
- Who will be responsible for setting up and monitoring the competition
- How will you share the costs and the credit
Don’t be afraid to get it all down in writing.
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Step 5 – do it again.
When it’s over, take a step back and evaluate.
How was it for you? Did you have any issues? Were they teething problems or just sheer non-compatibility? Decide if you can you overcome them or whether you need to part ways.
If you did get on like a house on fire, do it again! If you didn’t, approach someone else. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
If you’re looking for potential partners, we’ve started a community of competition creators in a closed Facebook group – just head on over and click ‘join’…