We have talked quite a bit about small business growth and taking your emerging business to the next level. One way to expand your reach into a broader market is by partnering with a big company to produce and market your product.
Below are some key steps to take before diving into any big business partnerships:
Know your niche
“Larger companies are often jacks of all trades, masters of none. Small businesses can exploit this by specializing in underrepresented segments of the industry and using that as an angle when pitching clients,” writes Robert Sofia for Forbes.
Before approaching a larger business with a partnership idea, spend time developing a pitch that shows how you meet a particular market need. Do your homework and come to the table prepared.
Develop and protect your brand
When you have set your sights on a big partnership, all the work you have done up until this point speaks for you. If you have taken the time to think strategically about your brand and to establish a strong brand presence, that can go a long way toward developing a foundation of trust with a partner business. In short, that means:
- Securing a strong name and trademarking it, as well as securing any associated domain names
- Working with a professional designer to create a logo and overall look and feel for your brand
- Developing a professional website with clean, proofread copy, easy navigation and clear information
- Establishing a strong social media presence so you can be found during an online search
- Protecting any intellectual property you have developed with copyrights, trademarks and patents
Although it can be tempting to bite when and if any big company comes knocking at the door to sell your product, it pays to think strategically. Opt to work with companies that fit your brand and your personal business style. In addition, you don’t want to end up in a situation where you can’t meet the big company’s demand for high volume.
“Make sure you have a plan in place when it comes to the extra manufacturing, distribution and inventory management that a corporate contract would demand,” writes Colleen Debaise for Entrepreneur.
Not every partnership is a good fit, so it is wise to approach each offer with a healthy dose of reality.
Understand the contracts
It goes without saying that you should never enter into a contractual agreement with another company without fully understanding the associated obligations and rights. Working with a skilled business attorney can help protect you and your emerging business as you venture into new agreements.
To learn more about growing your small business, protecting your intellectual property and crafting well-written business agreements, contact EmergeCounsel today.