Making The Cut

By Scott and Jennifer Fontana

Making The Cut

Making the Cut: Partnerships

”Love thy neighbor” is an adage that our team at Cristophe lives daily.  We know the importance of partnering with local organizations in our community, and the value that it brings to our business.

One tactic many business owners forget is that, while you may consider other professionals in your industry competition, there are plenty of opportunities for business owners to collaborate on projects and help drive customers into their respective businesses.

Earlier this year, we partnered with Dr. Rami Batniji, a renowned plastic surgeon specializing in facial rejuvenation, to offer a total makeover package to clients and patients.  While we are both professionals in the beauty industry, our services complement one another’s.  We joined forces to help clients look and feel their best and as a result, we were able to extend our reach into the community, while offering resources for comprehensive services.

We also continue to partner with local fashion shows such as Style Week Orange County and the Orange County Ronald McDonald House High Tea & Fashion Show.  We work with the organizations producing the shows to provide complimentary hair and make-up services to support their causes.

All that being said, how do we know who are the right partners for us? Here are a few tips:

- Trust. You have to be able to trust the credibility of the organization you’re considering for a partnership. Do your research, talk to your clients, and make sure the potential partner has the same reputation your business does before engaging in a partnership.

- Cultural Alignment. Whomever you partner with will soon be a reflection of your business, so make sure your cultures closely align. For example, Dr. Batniji is committed to exemplary client services, always putting the needs of the client first. At Cristophe Salon Newport Beach, we share in that commitment and know that any clients we refer to Dr. Batniji will receive the same care, respect and quality service that they’ve experienced with us.

- Mutually Beneficial. Ensure that your partnership has mutual benefits. All too often, organizations join forces and one reaps all the rewards, while the other is putting in the effort to make the partnership work. Lay out the expectations of the partnership in the beginning to ensure everyone is on the same page and all parties will benefit by joining together.

- Do What You Do Best. No partnership should require you to perform services outside of your current expertise. A partnership should amplify the visibility of your respective brands, not amplify your work and learning curve. When we partnered with Style Week Orange County and the Ronald McDonald House High Tea & Fashion Show events, we’re doing what we do best: hair and make-up services, not trying to organize a fashion show. Your value is in your expertise. Don’t dilute that by trying to be something you’re not.

As we roll out our marketing efforts for 2013, we’ll be aligning with more local organizations.  Not only does it feel good to give back and help out, but from a business standpoint, it fosters opportunities to get our brand in front of new audiences in the community.

As we look ahead to 2013, what local organizations are you going to partner with?


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