When you own your business, you do everything. When you’re just starting out you often market your own business, do the bookkeeping, and in a lot of cases create the product that you’re selling.
As your business grows, you might find that you need help. You may decide to hire a consultant like a Virtual Assistant (VA), or employees to help you get the job done. But here’s another option to consider: form a business alliance with a VA.
But what exactly is a business alliance? An alliance is an agreement between two businesses who agree to work together to save time and money, and create more opportunities for one another while still remaining as separate entities.
There are different kinds of alliances such as joint ventures, strategic alliances, and sales alliances. You need to decide what is right for you. You also need to determine who to form an alliance with. Team up with someone who has talents that complement yours and create something that is going to be beneficial for both parties.
VA’s can be great people to form alliances with. After all, they’re small business owners like you. They specialize in a wide variety of work and have talents that can complement an alliance.
So how would this work? Let’s say, for example, that you’re a coach and speaker. You speak to people about how to get and maintain a good work/life balance. You focus on personal health and how it helps build a healthy business. You decide to create an online course, but you realize that it’s going to be a lot of work to create and promote the course yourself. You could hire a VA to help you as an assistant to get the job done, or you could form an alliance with a VA who does similar work but isn’t a direct competitor.
A good fit could be a VA who has written an e-book about creating a successful small business while working from home. The content is similar, but not necessarily competitive. And by agreeing to work together, you can help save money by promoting your products through the same channels, like a joint website or social media. You also free up more time to allow each other to create your individual products. Plus, you can reach a wider audience that can find value in the products that you both produce.
Business alliances are not uncommon in the Virtual Assistant industry. Because VA’s have their own individual strengths, they might build a team that provides a wider variety of services for their clients and as a group, they make themselves more marketable in the process.
Depending on the size of your business, alliances can be very easy to set up or sometimes more complicated. Start by determining what your needs and goals are as an organization, and then find a match with a VA who’s a good fit. Success can come more easily when you’re willing to work as part of a team, and the benefits you’ll get from the relationship can far outweigh any challenges you may face.
Julie Stewart is a Digital Marketing VA with over fifteen years’ experience in marketing for small businesses. Julie helps busy professionals promote their businesses and increase their online presence by coordinating their marketing needs, and assisting them with their websites, social media, email marketing and online content. To learn more about how Julie can help you increase your online presence, visit her website at www.jascreative.com.