With a strategic partnership, would we split the cost of marketing or advertising?
Each partner will do their own marketing and advertising to generate their own clients. Each partner looks for opportunities for their partner, either with existing clients or as new project or client need arises.
Strategic partnerships work best when a partner has an existing or new client where there is a need for the other partner’s expertise. It may make sense to do some joint marketing, but only after the strategic partners have have been working together for several projects and when both have a mutual desire to collaborate or a need to split marketing efforts.
My clients ask me to help me with their websites, but we don't create websites. Can you help us?
Yes. First we will need to talk with you and confirm that Design-First is a good fit for yor clients’ needs, and we need to know more about your company and what it offers so we can send prospective clients to you.
How do I know you won’t just take my clients and leave us out of the loop?
Successful strategic partnerships are based on mutual trust, and are long-term relationships which benefit both companies. Each partner stands to gain new sales or projects as each partner adds new client.
Since each partner knows their own clients well, identifying how a strategic partner can help the client is easy, and usually both partners are involved in projects so that the client is comfortable. We recommend first making sure the relationship will be a true win-win, and starting with one small project or client to get used to working together.
If I send Design-First new business, how do I know they will also send us new business?
The best strategic partnerships are those where each partner looks for opportunities to promote their partner’s services or product or to help their own client with a project where their partner is a perfect fit. Strategic partnerships may not result in the same amount of new business for each party due to project timing, marketing efforts and other factors.
At Design-First we don’t view strategic partnerships as just as an opportunity to merely recommend a partner, but an opportunity to bring in our partners to help our clients’ business needs. If a partner sends us new clients or projects to work on with our partners, we are going to work hard to do the same for them. Our goal is to strengthen our partnership and work towards a “win-win-win” where both partners and the client all benefit.
Do we need to sign mutual non-compete agreements?
In most cases this is not necessary as most strategic partners do not offer the same services or products—the partners don’t compete directly with each other. A letter of agreement or similar document will usually be sufficient to get both of us working together.
We are are out of state—can we still partner with Design-First?
Yes. Since we are working with a partner’s client, our partner can interface with the client during project meetings and reviews. With email, conference calls and the a development website for reviewing projects, distance will not be a problem at all.
Do we have to pay a commission for clients we get from you?
Not necessarily. Some strategic partnerships are created with the understanding that each party will work to reciprocate each partner’s efforts. Paying a commission to your strategic partner is a great way to enhance the partner’s revenue especially with projects that are “handed off” or where both partners may not be involved together throughout the project.
Paying a commission is also good way to deal with strategic partnerships where one partner may have fewer opportunities for the other.
Which partner invoices the client?
For most clients and projects, each partner will create their own project proposals, and each partner will invoice the client separately for the work they are proposing. This approach works well and avoids “merging” proposals and slowing down the proposal writing process.
Another approach is for one of the strategic partners to work as a sub-contractor to the other partner, however, this approach can make proposal writing more complicated, and if the subcontractor needs to contact the client with questions or followup during the project, the client will need to understand who the sub-contractor is.
What types of businesses would make a good strategic partner with Design-First?
Consultants and companies that offer related business services to what Design-First offers or businesses offering complimentary products are best. Ideally, a strategic partner for Design-First will have clients who are asking about website design, ecommerce, hosting, or graphic design and related services.
A strategic partnership sounds good—how do we get started?
Please email Design-First using the Strategic Partner Request Form below, or call us at 678-969-0448.