Every small business needs revenue, and while many companies rely on sales of products or services as the main income source, there are other ways to raise funds. Corporate sponsorship is a mutual business proposition that offers something in exchange for a financial commitment from a corporation. These relationships have been growing throughout the years. In fact, companies spent $18 billion on sponsorships in 2013 alone. So how can your small business tap into this market? Let’s look at five ways you can get sponsorships from Corporate America.
1. Know your platform and the companies that match it. Companies are interested in reaching audiences they typically do not have at their fingertips. It’s less expensive than purchasing traditional media advertising and helps them target these individuals through an intermediary that already has their attention and trust. Make sure you can articulate exactly who you serve. Are your customers male or female? How much income do they make? Do they have children? Do they travel frequently?
Once you identify all the characteristics of your customer base, start researching companies that advertise to or want to reach that group. For example, if mothers are your primary customer, look through the pages of parenting magazines and research parenting websites. What companies advertise on those sites? Then make a list of those businesses as potential corporate sponsors.
2. Offer Value. Sponsorships come in many forms, including:
- Sponsored posts from the corporation on your blog
- Giveaways of their products to your audience
- Product reviews
Come up with a few packages that offer a mix of these activities, or let your potential sponsors pick items a la carte. Remember, you want to build a long-term relationship with your sponsor, so it’s in your best interest to come up with ways to engage them and work with them for years.
3. Write a compelling proposal that makes it clear why a corporation should sponsor your business. You want to write a story about you or your business that is exciting and meaningful. Don’t simply state what you sell; explain why you impact lives. Remember, sponsorships are not just about your business: the company you want to partner with will want to know what’s in it for them. How will the company reap benefits it wouldn’t otherwise get? Also include in the proposal your target audience demographics and discuss your reach as well as how you’ll help the corporation reach its target audience.
4. Ask for your worth. Many small businesses make the mistake of not asking for enough money in sponsorships. Remember that you are offering these corporations value and direct access to the customers they want to reach. In addition, many of these corporations are used to making deals in the tens of thousands. Don’t ask for $1,000 from a company that has the pockets to give $10,000. Value your connection to this demographic and charge accordingly.
5. Follow up! How many times have you ignored an email or phone call because you’re busy or on a deadline? Corporate executives feel the same way. So many people lose sponsorship deals because they do not follow up. If you don’t hear back from an organization after you’ve submitted your proposal, pick up the phone and check in.
Corporate sponsorship is a great way to partner with large corporations looking to expand their reach, while at the same time increasing your company’s bottom line. Make it a goal to start researching corporate sponsorship opportunities and diversify your revenue stream today.
“Handshaking Business People” courtesy of adamr / www.freedigitalphotos.net
Denise Ford says
Thanks for the information! Great Content! I plan to apply what I learned in your post!
Dear Melinda, Thank you for this great information. It was a good refresher however, it still left me with the Big question unanswered after reading similar articles, attending seminars and taking webinars of: What or Which departments have such Budgets?What is the possible Title of this Executive in charge of these budgets. For the past several years many marketing budgets have been cut/reduced in the For profit and Nonprofit sectors. Im quite familiar with the individuals and corporate departments that distribute and award funds in the nonprofit sector which at times appear to be larger than some marketing department budgets. Any additional light you can shed on this subject will help so many business owners who continue to travel the same path I do of seminars and the like or hiring consultants who offer general info. A consultant with a Rolodex of contacts would yield the desired value and outcomes we seek and help save us money, time, frustration and disappointment. Thank you
Emmanuel Mzwakhe Ngidi says
Hi I have registered my cpany in 2012 but still I don’t have any job and I need someone to help me. my company name is Inqubela Trading Enterprise, my aim was to teach First Aid to the companies and the commuity, and sell first aid kits.
I also wanted to do cleaning and other staff but I don’t how. I need help to get accreditation with HWSETA
Thanks for your great content. This is my first time to visit your site and i found a lot of great stuff to find here.
Adhy From Indonesia
Dawuda Adam says
Hi, I’m greatful about your achievement.
How can you help me to achieve. I setup a private school to Carter for child rent in BIMBILLA and beyound but my biggest problem is funds.
Anieta Jaars says
Good day. I realy need some information on how to start my own business. I am capable of many brilliant ideas, such as: Cooking, Cashier, Administration duties, Accounting, and many can i do. I really am tired of enrichen other people and i dont even have valuable items or assests to look back at. I can do a lot of things. I live in the west coast near the sea, where most of our communitors makes a living from the sea. Here are two shops that provide people from work, recently a Agricultural Project that has opened here that employs 47 people, most jobs they on contractual basis. We a small community and based far from Town about 65 km we must travel to do shop, and our pupils have to travel that far to school each day. We spend R500 or R600 just to go to town to do basic stuff. Life is expensive around here. How can I be assisted in making a difference in this community? As this place attracks mostly tourism. We have 3 restuarants here, few accommodations facilities, but they offer less jobs and pay rate are low. How can you help me?
Hope to hear from you as soon.
Melinda Emerson says
Thank you for your comment. My best suggestion to you is that you figure out which of you many talents is the most profitable and then try to pursue it as a business. Be sure to grab a copy of my book Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months, so that you can use it as a guide to launch your dream business.
Here to your business success,
isaac tlale says
I plan to open small factory for sewing I’m shorting with some sturf I wonder if u can help me with money I have certificate of textile
Thanks! Always reaching out to revamp where I am and what I’m pushing for.
Hello I am in a food take way business I have opportunities to grow the business as to opening up more restaurants and franchising it, but my biggest challenge at the moment is funds. How can I get help?
Felicity Sibanyoni says
Thank you for allowing God to use you to uplift us. I just read a few of your posts and I am encouraged
Thank you once again
thank you for your great information in small business know I am from horn Africa Ethiopia in our country small business is not this much in formal or planned way know I want follow your web site and your advice sister God bless you for this great treasure that God put in you and you dig it to share for others thank you.
Christopher Urbanek says
I formed a new Co. Aqua Craft Tools, LLC with a patent, Aqua Tools custom floatable hand tools. I’m. Trying to get social media,s attention. What is a good way to get publicity?
Hi i am working for my brother company of funeral brokers, he does not have sponsorship and the business not growing and the thing that make problem is when the death claim coming lots but we have FSB and we end up not paying other things.can you please help me how to go about to find sponsorship.
Gift selolo says
hi Melinda Emerson i had a lot about you but the fact that i`m in south Africa i don`t know how can i get a sponsorship or business partner from over sea. i`m only 33 years old guy from a poor back round but we can put the food on the table,i would like to hear from you as soon as you receive these message.right now in south Africa it is morning i don`t know in states now.have a wonderful day
My mane is Sandi Redden I started up my company in October of 2014 in 2015 I reached over $250,ooo dollars. I have a millwork installation company. We install cabinet,trim,doors,and restaurant equipment packages. Labor only I only do commercial work. Walmart, Dunkin Donuts, Popeyes, Smoothie Kings, and the list goes on. My problem is not the work. I was just offered a contract for multiple football stadiums but had to turn them down due to not being able to funderstand the job. I am on 7 to 14 day invoicing but yet to been able to get ahead due to starting out with no money. My goal is to hire and train a crew in every state to cut back on travel cost. I wish to find someone who is intrested in investing in my company that can profit along with me and put hundreds of people to work. There is plenty of work out there for us. Also so many skilled people who need work. I want to place them. I have people calling everyday for work whom I’ve trained just can’t do it. If you have any ideas please let me know. I read your story and hope to one day be able to tell my story. Thank you for sharing your ideas experience and motivation for me to not give up as a female in the corporate world.