How to Integrate Your Business Into A Business Cluster!
Q: What is the best way to start a business cluster? S. Mulbright Charleston, WV USA
I am a big fan of business clusters, especially for traditional brick-n-mortar small businesses that may be really struggeling right now as well as all online businesses. In fact, I think that they are an essential part of your business’s success. So, how do you start a business cluster? Start by asking yourself two questions. The answer to these two questions will determine what you do next.
First, take stock of your own business. Ask yourself what is it that you do and what can you offer another small business owner? The type of business you own and the product or service your offer usually will often be complimentary with another business’s product or service. Let me give you and example of what I mean.
Let’s say that you have a men’s clothing store. Your target clients tend to be young up and coming business executives. What you sell the most of in your store is medium priced suites in the $3-500.00 range, dress shirts, upper-end ties, and nice casual Friday office/golf ware. Chances are that your customer will also need a nice briefcase, smartphone, comfortable dress shoes, a great place for a haircut, etc. These are all your potential business cluster partners.
The next step is to take the time to visit one of these businesses and develop a relationship with the owner. Now comes the time to think of how you and your business could benefit this new potential partner. You should always approach it from the standpoint of how you can benefit them and what you have to offer them. That means you will need to get to know the owner and their core clientele and business products and services. This can be easily achieved as you get to know the owner simply by listening and asking genuinely interested questions.
Now let’s say that another potential partner is the one that sells fine briefcases. You could let your new business acquaintance know that you recently had a customer that just received a promotion and was buying a new suit from you. You had noticed during the sale that he also could have used a new briefcase. This is the time when you could suggest that in the future you would like to send your clients to him for their briefcase needs and by the way, could you have a few business cards or online sales info. You would like to have a few in the shop to give to clients and you would like to send one to the customer who just bought the new suit from you. Not only are you offering future business, but potentially a new customer right now. If the relationship proves mutually beneficial, you could suggest that each of you approach additional businesses with the same philosophy and voila, your business cluster is born! Business clusters require a little effort, time, and thought. However, with the right approach the benefits can substantial and long lasting which is something we all could use right now.
We would like to help you out by introducing yo to a few of our own business cluster partners that have helped us some of our business headaches into business growth, and we know they can do the same for you. Here are some links for you to make it easy for you or you can, click on any of the icons below in our TOOLS AND RESOURCES area. GoDaddy, ZOOM, PayPal, AWeber, TechSmith, LegalZoom. If you have more questions or you would like help creating your own business cluster strategy please feel free to Contact Us for one-on-one help. That is what we are here for. You can also join the fun on our Twitter Chat! We love hearing from you and what you are working on!
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If you scroll down just a bit further I also have a collection of more success tips. Just click on any of the links. If you have a question about your business please feel free to Contact Us and send a personal message. We love hearing from you and will respond just as quickly as we can.