Guest post by Gemma Church
Is your coworking space’s marketing strategy a little flat? Working with a partner company could inject life into your space and open the doors to opportunities far beyond your reach than if you go it alone.
By partnering with other businesses, you can engage with a wider audience and bring further benefits to your existing community. At the same time, you need to engage a wider audience and bring benefits to your partner’s community. You can do this by offering incentives like free use of your event space, featuring them on your newsletter or blogs, or giving them some discounted or free work space.
Simply put, a partnership should be a win-win situation. Which means that both parties must actively participate for the relationship to work.
Finding a partner that’s a fit for your workspace and that aligns with your own values and goals is not an easy task.
Lucas Seyhun, co-founder at New York-based The Farm Coworking, explained their strategy for forming successful partnerships (like their recent partnership with All Good Work Foundation).
“The best method of getting in touch with partners has been cold outreach and referral. First, we internally discuss the perfect partner company persona. Then, we will conduct thorough research on companies that can provide the perfect match to end consumers within the same market. Last, but not least, we will send out a very personable email to the person in charge of marketing.”
This statement covers the core elements of the process of how you should find and reach out to potential partners. But, let us expand more on these thoughts and look at the five stages of identifying, reaching out, and working with a partner company.
Work Out Your Target Partner Profile
You need to develop a partner profile that matches your workspace and your brand’s persona. Here are some questions you need to ask when looking at potential partner companies.
- Do you share the same vision for your respective businesses? And is this important?
- Are you going to work only with established organisations or startups, or both?
- Do you want partners working in a specific sector?
- What behavioural values do you want from your partner?
- Are these values negotiable?
- What is your potential partner’s place in the community?
- How important is their financial stability?
- What complementary skills do they need to have?
- And what do you want them to offer to your workspace or your members?
- What do you want/hope to gain out of this relationship?
These questions will help you have a clear idea of what type of company you should look for and reach out to. It’ll make the selection process a lot easier and faster.
Do Your Research
Once you have finished your ideal candidate profile, it’s time to do some market research. Local partnerships are great for strengthening the community and driving local business, but international connections are also important to expand on your workspace footprint.
Julian Jost, co-founder and CEO of Spacebase, explains how international partnerships was beneficial for his workspace.
“At Spacebase, we love coworking. Spacebase headquarters are situated in a coworking office in Berlin, which we love because it makes the workday feel lively and interesting. I feel like every work day is an opportunity to collaborate in a new way with my colleagues and other professionals in the office. But at the same time, we’re also using a coworking office – The Farm Coworking – while we have a Spacebase team in New York, which has helped us in ways we didn’t even imagine.”
So don’t scratch off the list the possibility of making international partnerships. However, when it comes to local ones, networking and face-to-face meetings are the best way to go. Another market research ‘tool’ would be your local chamber of commerce.
And lastly, don’t forget to pick the brains of your workspace members and surrounding community. Who do they know? Who do they recommend? Who do they like? You get the idea.