You can grow your business by helping other entrepreneurs grow theirs.
Partnering with a provider of complementary services can create mutually beneficial opportunities by positioning you to better serve customers together.
Artist Steve Williams and art procurement firm HAS Art Solutions provide customers with additional value by engaging them in the creative process. Customers can interact with Williams at his studio within HAS Art Solutions’ offices, thereby giving him more detail on the artwork they are seeking for their workplace while gaining a glimpse of how he creates the art, as well.
“Strategically aligning makes a lot of sense,” Williams said. “I have a better view of the projects than if I had not been right there.”
HAS Art Solutions staff can also consult with Williams to suit the artwork to the customer. “We feel very aligned with how we want to go about getting projects done,” Williams said.
Having known each other since 2006, Williams and HAS Art Solutions founder Heather Sams seized the chance to collaborate this year. He was seeking studio space and she saw a way to capitalize on her firm’s conference room.
Customers have appreciated observing and working with Williams since he started operating out of HAS Art Solutions, said Hayden Sams, the firm’s business development director. “It authenticates the artwork because you can actually meet the person who’s producing that product.”
HAS Art Solutions gets additional artwork that it might not have had otherwise as well, Hayden Sams said. “He’s helping us produce more inventory that we can bring to clients.”
Williams benefits from the exposure that comes from HAS Art Solutions promoting his work. He can also concentrate on his art, knowing that the firm is handling marketing, sales and other business functions.
“It makes sense for everybody,” Williams said. He recommends that other business owners explore similar collaborations by asking other entrepreneurs about their companies to see if they could fill a need or if they have a need to fill.
“You have to realize what sets you apart from other businesses,” Hayden Sams said. “Once you find what that niche is you learn how to apply that to other people and other businesses.”
After you identify a partner, determine how they will benefit from working with you, he said.
“The whole reason you partner in business is to help people make more money. You have to go in being willing to give a little before you get something back.”
HAS Art Solutions gave up office space to get to work with Williams, and he in turn sacrificed the privacy that artists often prize by working in a glass-walled studio that allows anyone to watch him create. Yet, there is mutual gain, Sams said.
“It doesn’t hurt to reach out to people and ask questions about their business,” Williams said. “Helping other people just makes sense.”