Often, the reason you partner with one subcontractor over another is not just that they do good work but because you share the same values and ethical approach to business. Those people make “ideal venture partners,” people to whom you feel comfortable referring business and vice versa, says Mike Jeffries, a managing partner at Closing Success System, in New Providence, N.J.
While everyone experiences a loose version of these partnerships, it’s good to formalize it.
Charles Whitcomb, in Hyannis Port, Mass., shared referrals off the cuff with a now-retiring plumber. Whitcomb asked if he could send a letter — with the plumber's endorsement — about Whitcomb Remodeling to the plumber’s large customer base. “He was comfortable with it because of the relationship we’d built over time,” says Whitcomb, who is now coordinating with an electrician and a landscaper.
All kinds of business owners might be good partners. Jeffries helped a wine cellar builder coordinate with a wine store. The remodeler showed project videos in the store’s tasting room. He gave anyone who built a cellar after viewing the video a $1,000 gift card to buy wine from the store. A win-win.
Start small, Jeffries says. Don’t expect someone to jump in and give you an introduction to their very best clients. “Look at people with whom you share ‘know, like, and trust.’”
—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.
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