There are all sorts of predictions about where the economy will take us in 2010. One thing that I’m sure about is that during these economic times, small businesses are being much smarter about utilizing their investments, talents, time and resources. As I mentioned in a recent blog post titled 2010 Wedding Industry Predictions, wedding professionals with the most entrepreneurial mindsets will thrive in 2010. We'll see many entrepreneurial minds partnering together, bartering and cross-promoting each other's services.
Bartering usually makes the most sense when two vendors have determined that the exchange of their individual talents or assets can achieve each other's goals. In some cases, it can be easier to barter with a wedding vendor that you already have a relationship with. This will make it easier to have honest conversations about how you can help each other. However, sometimes you will need to go outside of your immediate circle to find a vendor that has a talent or asset that you need. For those cases, social networks can be a great place to identify and connect with those types of wedding vendors.
Here are some tips to consider when bartering with other wedding vendors.
- Brainstorm. Once you have identified a partner for bartering, it is important to have a brainstorm. Be up-front about your needs or goals as well as your talents and assets. Together, create an exhaustive list of all of the ways that you can help each other to drive toward your respective goals. Then, be honest and narrow down the list based on what you can reasonably deliver. It is critical that you do not over-promise during this process because that can tarnish both your relationship and your reputation.
- Set reasonable expectations in advance and lay out the terms of your agreement. Even if you are friends with the other wedding vendor, don’t be shy or afraid to put things in writing. Create time lines and details about the work that will be delivered. It’s incredibly helpful to have a document or email that you can refer back to.
- Deliver what you promised and feel comfortable sticking to your defined terms.However, going above and beyond your agreement could enhance your relationship with the other vendor. It’s always nice to throw in extra favors along the way. You’ll have to think through the pros and cons of this. Every situation will be different.
- Regroup. After the bartering is complete, be sure to check in with each other to ensure that both of your goals were advanced as a result of your partnership. Discuss what went well and what you would do differently next time. Discuss your newly evolved goals and how you might be able to help each other again in the future.
If a vendor is not willing to put your agreement in writing or if they do not want to agree to regroup afterward, carefully consider whether that vendor is the right partner for you.
What best practices can you share about bartering your talents or assets with other wedding vendors?
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About This Blog: Christine Dyer has an MBA in marketing and shares over ten years of marketing expertise with the wedding community. In this weekly blog called Supercharge Your Wedding Business, you'll find advice on an array of wedding business topics such as how to market to brides, social networking, wedding PR, wedding sales, vendor networking, branding, pricing and much more. .Please pass this news along to your own professional wedding network. To receive this advice in your email inbox each week, Sign Up for a Free BridalTweet Membership.