Something’s Gotta Give: Why Bench Completely Revamped Their Partner Program

By Rachel Halldorson on September 29, 2020

September 29 marks the official launch of the Bench Partnerships Program 2.0.

When Bench started back in 2012, business influencers weren’t the force they are today. That’s why we were surprised when a handful of dedicated clients started referring our services to a few of their friends—and then a few more. We quickly noticed that some of these referrers had pretty impressive businesses and networks. At the same time, we knew our mission to empower entrepreneurs was not a solo-sport and we wanted to find more ways to connect small business owners with the power of expert bookkeeping. In late 2017, we started working with some of our most influential partners who were also committed to educating their network on all things small business. We began collaborating with partners to grow their revenue, while simultaneously educating their audiences on financial clarity. And so the Bench Partner Program was born.

How It Began

It started pretty simply. Bench’s ethos is to always provide a human touch and catered support to help small business owners. So of course that was the foundation to the Bench Affiliate Program. We set up a generous commission structure and worked with our affiliates on some pretty incredible things. We were steadfast with our mission and determined to help our affiliates grow.

A Good Problem

As word got out, a handful of affiliates burgeoned into a hefty portfolio. Great, right? Well with quick growth and catered support came increasing demand for our team’s time. With over 300 partners all asking for unique content, webinar support, and the admin that comes with it all, we realized something’s gotta give. How could we possibly grow any larger at this pace?

The Switch

It may seem like a simple(ish) project to rebrand a partner program. But throw in a worldwide pandemic, limited time and resources, and a new platform integration, and this switch would require an intricately choreographed execution. It took nearly 6 months of all hands on deck and a few very long weeks (nay—months) to perfect the program we had spent years building.

The New Partner Experience

Scalable Support

The Bench Partnerships team is committed to providing our partners with best in class service. While providing ad hoc support worked great for a small program, we quickly realized that a more defined program would allow us to better optimize our time and provide higher value support to all of our partners. Now with clearly defined tiers, we can provide support at scale with custom support to partners who require it the most.

Faster Partner Growth

A new partner dashboard allows partners to track the success of their partner activities in real time. Partners can now monitor exactly where their referrals are in the sales cycle, and how much revenue they’ve earned. With more insight into how referrals are doing, partners will be able to better understand what works for them, and do more of it! Payouts have also moved from quarterly to monthly so partners can get paid and reinvest in their business quicker.

Educational Content That Converts

Bench collaborates with some of the best small business content writers and designers, and we want to share this with our partners. Partners now have access to revamped email copy, blog posts, images, and more to educate their audiences and increase their referral conversion. As a partnership grows into our Gold tier, we’ll also raise the level of support we provide by introducing things like custom assets specific to a partner’s business and audience.

What’s Next?

While we’ve learned a lot over the last 3 years, we know there’s so much more to tap into. We’re excited to continue evolving our Partner Program by working with leaders in the small business space. As always, we’re committed to our mission of helping millions of small business owners.

Join us and let’s change the small business world together.


This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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