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Business Tips – Growing by marketing with a lucrative partner

images/BUSINESS TIPS.JPGWhen Bryan Janeczko was trying to get noticed after launching NuKitchen, the online diet service, he tried just about everything to generate sales. One sure technique that he ‘discovered’- which kept a pipeline of new customers coming in the door - was a partnership with a more established business. For them, one of our first partners was Related, a large real estate holding company that owned a string of high rise apartment buildings in New York and the Equinox Fitness chain. Their clients were exactly the same type of customers they were targeting. Establishing a partnership with these folks was one of the best ways for us to get noticed, maintain a continuous flow of potential clients, and ultimately drive sales.

Finding established, recognized names of businesses who are also targeting your customer base, is one of the surest ways to drive your startup sales. Like Related was for NuKitchen, these businesses already have a customer base that you can tap into. As a startup, however it can be tricky getting them to notice you, let alone partner with you, so Bryan has identified 3 tips for landing a lucrative partner:

  1. Identify 5 partners that can drive value for you: Once you’ve identified your target customer, think about established brands in your community who are also targeting your ‘customer’. You’ll want to identify partners in complementary businesses, not necessarily businesses competing directly in your area. Be on the lookout for those potential partners with great reputations. Who would be your ideal partner? Write down the top 5 who you think could most strongly deliver your ideal customers. If you know somebody senior at the business, reach out to that contact but if not, find out who the Director of Business Development is.
  2. Create value for your partner: In order for the partner to listen to you, you’ll need to have a product or service in market (or at least a working prototype). Most businesses won’t risk their reputation if you’ve simply got an ‘idea’. This was actually that case when Bryan initially approached Equinox with the NuKitchen concept. He hadn’t yet launched it so they said come back later once you’re in the market. This is exactly what he did- returned a year later after he launched NuKitchen and created a compelling offer for their gym clients. He would provide ‘free’ food tastings at each gym and provide members with a complimentary day of NuKitchen service in exchange for being able to promote the company. They were happy because their members got a valuable benefit. For your own business, what special value add or discount will you offer to your target partner for their clients? Whatever you offer, make sure that you can deliver. Remember, it’s not just your reputation but that of your established partner as well.
  3. Make implementation ‘easy’: Finally, coming up with a compelling offering is great and both parties may get excited. However, the real work is in the execution. Chances are that your Business Development contact is going to be super busy carrying out his or her daily duties. Make it easy on them and do as much of the legwork as possible. Draft an implementation schedule with proposed dates. This may require a little bit of guesswork on your part since you may not have intimate knowledge of their inner workings.

Bryan’s biggest piece of advice is to be flexible since things can take longer than expected or take different twists or turns.

(Original source no-longer on the internet)

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Business Tips – Christmas Parties – Employer Responsibilities

images/Business-Tips.jpgYear end Christmas parties are coming up and your employer responsibilities continue to appoint - are you aware of your obligation to provide a healthy and safe environment when planning workplace functions?

If the business function is organised, promoted and funded by the employer, it is more than likely to be considered an extension of the workplace and therefore, your business should ensure it takes all reasonable steps to minimise any risk to the business.

When is the employer liable?

In most legal contexts, an employer function/staff party will be considered as part of the ‘workplace’ and having connection with the employment of employees. As such, all the duties and obligations of the employer that apply in the office, shopfront or yard will continue to apply for the duration of the function or party.

This could mean the organisation (or even individual employees of the employer) could be held liable for occupational health and safety breaches for failing to provide a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.

Injuries or illnesses arising out of or in the course of the function may be claimable under statutory workers compensation schemes and inappropriate conduct or comments could lead to harassment or discrimination claims. Additionally, employees must also be aware that they may be disciplined for their actions at the party, as the terms and conditions of their contract and any applicable company policies apply for the duration of the function.

The employer’s liability may be limited in some circumstances where the employee has engaged in serious misconduct or for instances that occur after the completion of the organised function. However, such exceptions are assessed on a case-by-case basis. In all circumstances it is clear the employer must be able to demonstrate all reasonable and proportionate steps were taken to educate staff on appropriate standards of behaviour, to provide a safe environment and eliminate discrimination and sexual harassment.

Tips to minimise your risks:

  • Have clear written policies and ensure they are notified to staff for their attention to reduce employer liability;
  • Plan your function – select a venue wisely and provide all employees with the details of the function, including clearly communicating start and finish times;
  • Educate and set the rules – ensure all employees are aware it is a work function and, as such, that the usual code of conduct and associated policies and standards of behaviour apply. Now is also a good time to review relevant policies and consider training employees in acceptable workplace behaviour. For example, Bullying and Discrimination awareness training for managers and employees;
  • Safety – provide alternative transport options including designated drivers, Ubers and taxi vouchers.

Other Questions

Is the employer liable for the actions of employees at an ‘after party’ event?

Employers may be vicariously liable for the actions of their employees if such actions are in the ‘course of’ or within the ‘scope’ of employment. This will differ on a case by case basis, depending on the factual circumstances of each situation. As discussed above, advising staff of the clear finishing time of the organised function and avoiding sanctioning or funding any post-function activities will assist in reducing such liability.

Does the employer have to provide transport after the function?

Employers have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace environment to all employees. Legislation concerning liability for injuries sustained whilst travelling to or from the workplace (or a workplace function) differs from state to state, but the possibility of providing transport to employees after the event should be considered as part of the planning phase, but is not obligatory.

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

Call 0407 361 596 Aust and also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” - There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

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