It might sound too good to be true, but you can cut the cost of future marketing in half. The secret? Do joint marketing with another business.

Residential power wash contractors can look for marketing partners like a dry cleaner, a delivery pizza place, a closet organizing company, or any other service. The more "upscale" the service, the better it reflects on your company. Commercial contractors should team up with businesses like janitorial services or office supply companies.

Choose a service that complements yours well. Perhaps a lawn service or a painter or window cleaning company would be good choices for your company. Choose a partner that has a solid reputation that will add to your own great reputation.

Accomplishing this is relatively easy. If you are thinking about direct mail, select target business by looking through your mailbox to find services that are already mailing out advertising. A call to the number on the advertisement should get you the contact information to the person making the advertising decisions in that company. Split the advertising postcard space evenly and then split the costs evenly.

If electronic advertising is your thing, look for local ads on your cable stations. You can combine your purchase by negotiating together with the other business for two 15-second spots instead of a single 30-second spot. Of course you can negotiate with your cable supplier for two 30-second spots together instead.

If your business can form marketing alliances with several other service businesses at the same time, together you should be able to afford much more. Whether you are thinking about a full-color insert in the Sunday paper or some other grand effort, you should be able to make a bigger splash for a lot less money by teaming up with others.

It is important that you choose your marketing alliances carefully. One of the touchiest areas involved in co-marketing involves direct mail. Both companies will need to provide their customer lists for the mailing, but don't necessarily want to share their lists with each other.

Using a direct mail provider should allow you to keep the lists separate. If you are going to print your own campaign, you might suggest that Contractor A print and mail to his list and Contractor B will do the same.

NOTE: Do you add your own home address to your mailing list? I always did. I knew when everyone else got their mail by checking my own mailbox.

No matter how you size it up, this is a smart way to get 'more bang for your buck' and help you grow in this slow economic climate.