The importance of local partnerships for UK small businesses.

Summary/Overview

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A local partnership allows businesses to collaborate to help build authority for both brands. It’s an effective way for small businesses in the UK to band together, boost awareness and provide collaborative services.

In today’s digital world, search engines like Google prize authoritativeness – especially in local markets. Businesses essentially have to ‘prove’ their local relevance for both customers and search engines, which makes a local partnership for a small business all the more powerful.

In this guide, we’ll explore why local partnerships are so important in the UK, and how you can set one up as a small business.

Why are local partnerships important for a UK small business?

A local partnership with another business can help boost your authority and relevance. This can be effective both within search engine optimisation (SEO) and offline when looking to boost your brand’s reputation.

Let’s look at some of the key benefits of being part of a local partnership.

Free templates for local business partnerships.

Finding the right local partner for your business.

Building a local partnership is exciting, but it’s important to choose the right business. You need to ensure that you’re a good match, you’ll work well together and – most importantly – benefit each other and the community.

Here are a few tips on how to find the perfect partner.

Participate in local business networking opportunities.

There’s no better way to get your name out there than by, well, getting out there. Keep an eye out for local events in your nearest town or city. This might be a casual meet up with fellow vendors and business owners in your nearest pub or a more UK-wide business fair. Networking is a powerful tool, so make sure you come prepared to sell yourself to prospective partners.

Join local business and community groups.

Have a look online to see if you can find any relevant community groups. You’ll often find sites like Facebook particularly useful for this. Join a group and chat with fellow business owners. These groups are also a great place to find the latest community and event news – and may also host a few meetups themselves.

Search for similarities.

The best local partnerships are with businesses that share significant similarities. Do some research to see whose customer bases, business intents and services align with yours. A good idea might be to look towards community-based businesses, like charities and schools, that share some of these aspects and ideals with you.

5 local business partnership examples and ideas.

So, you’ve found your partner – time to think of your idea. It may be that you approach different businesses with ideas, or you come up with one as a collaborative effort. Either way, it’s good to think about how both your services can aid each other and benefit your local community.

For example, you could:

Collaborate on a new product, menu or collection.

If you own a shop or hospitality business, a product collaboration could work well. This provides a promotional opportunity for you to showcase the best of what both businesses have to offer. For example, your restaurant could team up with a local bakery to launch a new dessert menu. Or, your clothing company could collaborate with a local coffee shop to create an exciting new merch line.

Host a joint event in the local community.

A great idea if you’re looking to make a direct impact within your local community. If you partner with your local school, council or community centre, it provides an exciting opportunity to host a local partnership event.

A craft market could be a welcome event if your retail business joins with a local community centre. Meanwhile, a co-hosted concert in your bar or restaurant could be a great way to bring people together and through your doors. Whatever you do, don’t forget to advertise it both online and with print reminders like flyers. This helps ensure nobody misses the news.

Partner with a local charity.

Partnering with a local UK charity provides you with the opportunity to give back. For example, fairs and markets are great ways to raise funds and provide some community joy. Or, perhaps you could collaborate on a new limited-edition product and pass the proceeds on? You’ll need to make sure this is well signposted, both online and perhaps with in-store posters, so people know where their money is going.

Create a complimenting offer.

If you don’t have the means to host a big event or create anything new, putting a cross-referring offer in place is a great way to collaborate. For example, your bookshop could partner with a local café by using a joint loyalty stamp card. Whatever you decide, the offer needs to compliment both your businesses, to encourage people to shop between locations.

Run a joint social media giveaway.

Social media is a great way to cross-refer customers you otherwise wouldn’t have considered. Your giveaway can have certain entry requirements, like sharing the announcement Instagram post to their stories, liking, commenting and following both businesses. This provides instant visibility across your newly combined customer bases – and also gives back to your loyal followers.

Editable local business partnership examples.

How to create a win-win local partnership.

So, you’re all ready to create your first local partnership. Before you get started, there are just a few things to remember before reaching out to your new business partner:

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Useful things to know.

What is an example of a local partnership?

A local partnership could include partnering with a similar business, or one that offers collaboration opportunities. For example, an events planner could team up with a local restaurant, pub or bakery to provide special offers to their clients.

What is a small business collaboration?

A small business collaboration is where two or more brands team up to achieve a goal or solve a problem. This could include a local partnership if businesses are looking to boost their reputation, build their customer bases or give back to the community.

How do you ask a business to collaborate?

If you want to ask a business to collaborate, start by attending local business events or joining community groups. It’s a good idea to introduce yourself first and provide them with a strong idea of who you are and what you do. Don’t be scared to approach people directly in person or online. Make sure to present a proposal that’s beneficial for both of you and consider their position as a brand too.

Small business community engagement

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