Cross-Marketing With Ancillary Businesses

by : 

Megy Karydes

February 15, 2016
Marketing Mondays - Cross-Marketing With Ancillary Businesses

Taxes may be due April 15, but accountants are busy right now helping many of your customers.

Do you have a neighborhood accountant who you meet with regularly and/or annually to do your shop’s taxes? If so, have you ever asked your accountant to let you leave your shop’s postcards at his or her desk and/or include your business in their e-newsletters? Offer to do the same for them—allow them to leave their business cards near your cash register or on your shop’s community bulletin board, and mention them in your e-newsletter.

Cross-marketing with ancillary businesses doesn’t need to involve cash outlay. Cross-promoting via word of mouth is often stronger, especially if you can offer kind words about the other business or you have first-hand knowledge of their services (such as your accountant).

Make it Easy for Others to Promote Your Business

  • To make it even easier for them to cross-promote your business, give them a short, one-paragraph blurb about your shop to drop into an e-newsletter or craft a tweet for them to send out.
  • You can even use a service like ClickToTweet that lets you link to a tweet for them to push out. Try it out with me. Craft a tweet, put it on a service like ClickToTweet and send it to me. I’ll push it out to my Twitter followers so you can see how it works.
  • Print out postcards with a beautiful item in the front and a very short caption on the back (with your shop’s website and/or address). The rest of the postcard should be white space so your ancillary business can use it to write a note.

Make a List of Ancillary Businesses

Here are a few off the top of my head, but you likely work with or support other types of businesses. Keep a running list and as you come across them and have your one-paragraph blurb (or ClickToTweet!) at the ready to share!

  • Dog walker (Can your dog walker write a “thank you for your business” on the postcard you provide them?)
  • Accountant (Can your accountant include your business in their e-newsletters, especially around holiday times, to recommend their customers shop your store for gifts?)
  • Hair stylist
  • House cleaning crew
  • Dry cleaner
  • Restaurants and bars you frequent
  • Bakery
  • Florist
  • Auto mechanic or place you get your car’s oil changed
  • Alarm service (if it’s local)
  • Local gyms/yoga shops
  • Art galleries, craft shops

These are just a few. How many more can you come up with?


  1. Craft a ClickToTweet and email it to me to push out.
  2. Make a list of 10 ancillary businesses to reach out to and see if they’d be willing to cross-market with you.
  3. Write a short, one-paragraph description of your shop to send out to those ancillary businesses.
  4. If you have the funds, print 500 postcards to pass out to favorite customers and to give to ancillary businesses to use.

Megy Karydes helps small businesses harness their marketing power. She’s also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic’s CityLab, Midwest Living magazine and Chicago Tribune, among others. Find her at