As a small business, you are hussling to leverage your assets so you can go farther with less. Hopefully a part of this is going after partners–a tried and true way to accomplish this goal. Have you slowed down enough to provide an opporutunity for companies to come after YOU? I’m talking about a partner section on your web site that filters, qualifies and provides you with interesting opportunities for growth–with less work!
Very little. Or rather, the presentation of what’s involved is clearcut. Take MyBizHomepage.com’s partner section. In less than ninety days, this relatively new start up out of Virginia signed up partners such as BuzGate, BusinessKnowHow and HispanicSMB through their partner program. These three organizations alone represent over a 1.25 million visitors per month. MyBizHomepage provided a basic, 1 page partner page off their main page to do the following:
1) explain the program
2) describe the benefits
3) provide more detail for specific industries
4) offer an agreement so prospective partners could self-qualify
5) provide a contact point
Do nothing. In the rush to produce a nice, comprehensive site, the marketing people completely ignore the obvious. Check out Premier Garage, an up and coming franchise. Great product, good service from the reports I hear–and frankly, once I came upon their site, I can no type my info to get someone to call me.
Two problems with this. One, I had to search them out thx to Google. If they’s partnered with other complimentary service providers, I would have found them a lot quicker (think home improvement, remodel sites). Two, if I was a partner looking to add-on to my services, or provide one-stop shopping, Premier Garage would be a logical partner. But where’s the page that lists why I should go with them vs another vendor? Who do I contact? Personally, I resist providing my contact information that goes in to some black hole database. Web sites should remove barriers to creating growth-not put them up.
Pllacing a Request for Information or Request for Quote but ignoring the partner angle.
Many small businesses are focused solely on the prospective customer and go about prospecting one by one. For instance, the request for quote section on a small business site is fine, yet this is a one-off. Or rather, a one-by-one approach to attracting business. Instead, if you have a partner that is marketing your product or service to their customer base, then you are getting a stream of potential customers. It bears repeating that this is the very definition of leverage–higher output with less (monetary/resource) input resulting in a faster time to market, higher margins and a better shareholder return.
So if you are wanting to make it easier for companies to find you, contact you, and aid your business now, think about a partner section on your site. The tag can usually be added to the bottom of the navigation bar. Your bottom line will thank you.