Deciding which of the farmers or small businesses within the agribusiness industry to contact first will be one of the hardest steps you will have to take.
If you agree that it is better to start with who you know. Give careful consideration to what each business offers and find a gap where you believe you can help them with and vice versa. Having said that, pick a company that best matches what it is that you are looking for.
Compare before you choose which collaboration is right for you. Collaboration can mean many things and sometimes it requires the involvement of more than one person in your agribusiness brand or company.
Just as Taita Ngetich puts it:
"Every partnership starts very rosy but when challenges arise,
it's always a blame game with no partner wanting to take the fault.
We intentionally ask our partners to share projects that
failed for them before we come onboard.
Having discussion earlier about failure creates the space to know
how each partner would react if it happened to your project or joint venture."
In this article, you will learn on "how to go about collaborating.” You will also get smart ways you can use as a farmer to find the right partners to collaborate with and gain more.
1. What Are Your Goals With This Partnership?
Before you reach out to any agribusiness brand or fellow farmers to collaborate with, make sure you know your goals or what you will achieve from the collaboration.
Look out for these when getting into a collaboration; will the collaboration lead to:
- Increased productivity?
- Lower costs?
- Company growth?
- Greater customer satisfaction?
- More customers and growth in fanbase?
- Effective marketing?
- Employee engagement?
Takeaway: The best type of collaboration should at least be able to help you achieve any of the above.
What Are You Doing To Find The Right Partner?
Finding the right partner can be hard. It can also take a lot of time to pick the best partners for collaboration. Don’t shy away from doing your research. Here are some ways you can use to get the right partners:
2. Use Your Social Media
Ask people to recommend you to brands and businesses that can be open to collaborating with your brand. You can use your social media platforms to request for recommendations.
Some time back we used social media to find the right speakers to partner with for our Twitter Spaces and we received overwhelming support.
3. Use Search Engines
You can use Firefox, Google, Yahoo to find a lot other than local partners. In a case where you want to find agritech brands in your space to collaborate with, you can search “Agritech brands in Kenya” and it will give you results.
For instance, at Synnefa we offer FarmCloud services which enable farmers to access an array of services that will help them reduce farm input costs, access the market, save time and access capital.
4. Request for Referrals or Recommendations
Ask your friends, colleagues or people in the same industry you operate in. Oftentimes we shy away from asking for help forgetting that that’s also a way to grow your network and build relationships with others.
The community of people who engage with you almost on a daily basis know people you would love to connect with. Make good use of that opportunity to ask them.
5. Check Out Possible Business in Expo Centres
The best place to find the right partners is attending industry exhibitions, expos and events where other farmers and agribusiness brands are showcasing their products and services.
Recently, we attended an Agribusiness Expo that happened in Nairobi, Kenya. We connected with many farmers we’re in collaboration with and new agribusiness brands to partner with to achieve more in terms of offering services to the farmers across Kenya.
You can catch up with the expo through this video we created.
6. Pitch Your Collaboration Idea
Go all out on the available channels and pitch your collaboration idea to the public, communities and get togethers during farmers meetups. You can also use your email lists.
In order to make the pitch successful, follow these tips:
- An intro of yourself
- State why you like the brand you’re reaching out to
- State why you're a great fit
- Add a call to action, such as setting up a phone chat together. You can also share your Calendly link to give room to book a meeting time for the conversation.
- You can also request for a physical meet up to pitch your collaboration idea.
Starting a collaboration can be scary but also very rewarding.
What Type Of Strategic Collaboration Are You Looking For?
Remember the conversation we had earlier on the goals you’re intending to achieve as a business or a farmer? When you are looking into a partnership make sure your goals align with the specific strategy on how to achieve the goals.
7. Marketing Partnerships
Marketing takes a huge budget for brands and sometimes it’s hard to find the most strategic way to partner and achieve brand awareness, visibility, leads and sales.
So many agribusiness brands are now partnering marketers who have audiences on social media to reach to the market. This is can be through:
Influencer MarketingThis is a way of working with individual brands to talk about your business on their platforms. In this type of collaboration, you can pay an influencer to create content or offer services for free or at a discount. A very good example is erecting a greenhouse at the farm of an agribusiness influencer for free while they share their journey through greenhouse farming. The profits from the greenhouse can be shared or not depending on the agreement.
Affiliate MarketingWith this type of marketing, bloggers and website owners create their own tracking links and earn referral fees every time a customer clicks through to buy products. For example, we can partner with farmers, create unique links for them to share on social media and any time someone buys one of our products (greenhouses, farmshield etc) will get a cut from the purchase.
Content MarketingThe purpose of content marketing is to create engaging content that is valuable to the audience. This can be through blogs or social media. For example, Synnefa partners with Janet Machuka to write articles like this one to grow brands' Search Engine Optimization and share valuable information to fans, customers and clients in our industry.
Takeaway: Collaborations take time and effort but it can be worthwhile.
Collaboration is a great way to grow your business and network with others in your field, but only if you’ve identified the right partner for you and for your customer base. As Synnefa, we partner with farmers to offer them smart and comprehensive farming tools with a variety of products to help the modern farmer take the guesswork out of farming. This is called, FARM CLOUD.
It is always advisable to factor in how much time you need to make that collaboration work. Additionally, remember that not all partnerships are money oriented. Some partnerships are a way of bartering your skills or doing something in exchange for a share of the profits you’ll make.
If you're wondering how you can start a business collaboration with small businesses to help them get more exposure and bring more traffic, then this guide will help you. You can also check out this useful thread we came across:
I've been on both sides of the collaboration - as a collaborator myself & as part of a team that was asked to collaborate. In my recent experience, I encountered a lot of difficulties and lacking support from other parties in terms of setting clear goals & expectations.— Janet Machuka (@janetmachuka_) June 9, 2022