How to make 1 + 1 = 3!
Being great at mathematics is one thing, but being able to make 1 + 1 = 3 is something else altogether! Yet in business that is exactly what you can do, especially when being looked on by larger potential clients.
I was having one of my legendary (well, in my mind only!) coffee-chats with a business friend of mine the other day. His business is marketing and publicity videos. He was telling me how he had recently hooked up with another business that specialised in e-marketing, because he felt that was part of the marketing/publicity mix that he currently didn’t have covered. He now felt he had a much more comprehensive offering for his clients.
That got me thinking about another conversation I had had with a family friend who is a director of a medium-sized manufacturing company. The crux of our chat had been about how she wished she could have more of a “one-stop shop” for her business-support needs. She was rushed off her feet and didn’t have time to be constantly briefing and dealing with different companies for different aspects of her sales and marketing requirements. She gave me an example…
In just one week, she had a meeting with web-designers about changes to the company web-site. She then had a meeting with the printer about the new corporate brochure. Then she had a meeting with a tele-marketing company about a campaign to promote a new product. Then she had a meeting with a photographer about the shots she wanted putting into the company brochure…and so it went on!
In every meeting she had to ensure she had clearly conveyed the ethos, vision and brand of the business so that they truly understood what they were trying to achieve.
Just maintaining the joined-up thinking required for consistency’s sake from supplier to supplier was a nightmare in itself!
The combination of the chat I’d had with my family friend and my business friend made me come to a conclusion about what I had been thinking for quite a while – if you have a small business that focusses on one specific aspect of business, don’t be afraid to forge alliances with other complimentary business-services. Without even realising it you will be greater than the sum of your parts, certainly in the eyes of potential clients, and you will over-night become a bigger brand.
You will be making their buying process simpler by being able to offer a wider service with just one decision! In addition, you will also be locking out any potential competition.
Also, consider if your new “power-team” should fall under the umbrella of one existing brand-name, or should you look at creating something new to push your fresh offering.
Either way, you will find the conversations you are having with clients will start being more wide-screen and less tunnel-vision (more of this in another blog) because you are able to chat about more aspects of their business needs and provide them with the results they want to improve their business as a whole, not just one small aspect of it.
Without doubt, 1 + 1 will most definitely start adding up to more than 2!