Building my business

Partnership ideas ‘cause teamwork makes the dream work!

Caitlin Adamson May / 26 / 2020

Business owners across the country (heck, the GLOBE!) have felt the pinch of COVID-19. As we start to ease out of the darkest modern times caused by the pandemic, salons, spas and barber shops are trying to clamber back to their feet.

And damn friends, it’s hard.

Clients have dropped off the grid and huddled inside their homes. Due to capacity limits you can’t have all your team and clients back at once. And the appointment book hasn’t looked so bare bones in… well, ever!

So, as you try to rebuild your business, let’s focus on working together to get our communities back to normalcy. Work with each other, rather than against each other and leverage each other’s customer bases.

It’s time to partner-up so we can all level-up!

Explore some win-win local partnerships

Unless your salon is on the moon, there’s likely going to be other local businesses around that you can enter into a win-win partnership with. Look at what other businesses are around you. Maybe there are some cafes, pilates studios, or beauty salons (if you’re a hairdressing salon)? If you’re a barber shop, maybe there are some local hardware stores, gyms, or sports clubs?

The key is to find local, non-competing businesses who are likely to have an overlapping customer base. You could already have a good existing relationship with these business owners and can build on that.

But if not, that’s ok too! Get out there, network and meet some like-minded people. You might be surprised how much there is to learn from each other, even if your industries are polar opposites.

Some businesses to partner with could include:

  • Beauty salons or spas (if you’re a hairdresser and vice versa)
  • Cafes and small coffee shops
  • Local sports clubs or teams
  • Small clothing boutiques or boutique retailers
  • Local bookstores
  • Hardware stores
  • Local gyms, yoga studios, specialty gyms (ie. Martial arts or boxing – perfect clientele for barbers!)

Find the perfect offer

Once you find the perfect local business to partner with, you’ll need to work together to find a promotion that will benefit both sides.

If you partner with a local café for instance, maybe they can supply a free coffee for every client with their appointment. If they cover the cost of the coffee, maybe they can let their customers know about a complimentary treatment with every appointment booked using their referral code.

You can promote this in their venue with flyers, posters on the café tables, and business cards at the front desk. Find something that feels fair and works for the both of you!

Some promotions you could offer include a:

  • 5-10% off an appointment
  • Bonus treatment with any appointment
  • Bonus consultation with an appointment
  • Bring a friend for free card (with any small service booking)
  • Complimentary brow tint with any brow appointment booking
  • Complimentary beverage
  • Sample sized product with an appointment.

The list goes on! Keep in mind that the offers that work best at gaining new clients who ACTUALLY rebook are value-add offers rather than discounts. Discounts can sometimes be perceived as ‘cheapening’ your work and as a result clients’ place less value in it – but find what works best for your business.

Spread the word

Once you have the perfect partnership and offer lined up, it’s time to spread the word about it!

Instagram and Facebook are going to be some of your best friends! Curate a post or two for your social media feeds with an engaging caption telling them your story. Let your followers know exactly why you’re teaming up, what the offer includes, what they can do to help, and encourage them to get involved!

P.S. Don’t forget about using Instagram’s support small business sticker in your Insta Stories! It’ll help your stories get seen by a wider audience of people ready and raring to support small!

Tell your clients directly

SMS is one of the most effective ways to get your message across in a jiff. Send an SMS to your clients letting them know about your exciting new collab – you can set this up via Shortcuts Marketing (here’s a quick video that will show you how).

Pssst – did you hear? For the rest of May, we’re giving away FREE SMS to every Shortcuts customers who already have an SMS bundle added to their package. This extra lil Bundle Bonus is all about helping you communicate to your clients at a time you need it most.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • There’s nothing you need to do to set it up! The bonus SMSs will automatically be applied to your account.
  • The bigger the bundle, the better the bonus! Yup, it means if you’re on a 200 message bundle, you’ll have 300 SMS you can send. 500 SMS bundle becomes 750 messages, and the 1,000 message bundle becomes a huuugggee 1,500 SMS to use.

Check out this fancy lil blog for all the deets.


Caitlin Adamson
Caitlin Adamson
Caitlin Adamson is a passionate creative and analytical thinker who brings her love for the written word to the marketing world. She brings her fresh outlook to the Shortcuts team and strives to create strategic and engaging collateral to help salons, spas, clinics and barbers to tackle their business endeavours with confidence.

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