Approaching a bigger brand can be tricky. You feel like you aren’t at the same caliber, so you really want to prove yourself and your company’s worth. Closing the partnership with a bigger brand will take a combination of the right time and approach to ensure a prosperous relationship. But with the proper tools, landing a partnership with a bigger brand can mean fast growth for your company.
Take Advantage of Connections
The first step you will want to take is to understand how you and your employees are connected to the other company. You could ask around, but the most efficient way to do so is through social media. LinkedIn is a great platform for this. Through LinkedIn you will be able to see how you are connected to the company and ask your connections for referrals. If this doesn’t work, you may be able to join a group that hosts employees of the other company. An average 8 groups are created each week on LinkedIn. This means that your chances of finding an employee of the company through LinkedIn are extremely high. These connections give you a great advantage in getting the brand to even consider you for a partnership.
Don’t Ask When You Aren’t Ready
If you aren’t ready for drastic growth, then don’t try to partner with a bigger brand. Many small companies try to partner without realizing the logistical implications of quick and steady growth. You need to ensure you have the right infrastructure in place to thrive in the quick growth stage. If not, your company may fall short of expectations, and you may end up with a stampede of bad press, along with a broken partnership.
This point focuses on how you approach the company. You will want to do your research with any connections but also be prepared to impress the executives of the company with your knowledge. Prepare a plan of attack. The most important aspect to include while talking with the executives is how the companies can mutually benefit each other. Memorize your points of industry intersection and why this big brand should partner with your small business.
Be Persistent Without Being Spam
After the initial presentation, make sure to follow up with the company on a regular basis. Although it’s incredibly tricky, you need to persistent without coming across as too pushy. This will depend heavily on the type of partnership and the level of connection you are asking for. Robin Thurston, co-founder of MapMyFitness, said in an Entrepreneur interview that “There are some brands we are working with today that literally were five-year conversations.” Partnerships with big brands take time and energy. You will need to be patient and consistent in contacting your potential partner.
The right partnership can completely transform your small business. It can be incredibly tricky to land, but with the right amount of planning and perseverance, you can partner with a brand much bigger than your own. The most important thing to remember is that these relationships are beneficial to both parties. As much as you may feel like an underdog, your entrepreneurial spirit and small but strong following is something those big brands are dying to have themselves.