Ok this is a conceptual question I have.
I am in the service industry, and market my skill set to local businesses mostly.
I have heard of some people in the same industry operating off of what basically amounts to an affiliate system though.
You send me a client, I give you a cut. Pretty basic stuff.
Of course there is more to it than that though from a business standpoint. But technologically speaking there are some things I would love to be able to do for this kind of goal.
I'm not sure if BuddyPress / Membership / Affiliate (WPMUDEV plugins) would be appropriate ways to solve these issues or if there might be a better approach. This is what I am wanting to find input about with this post.
So here are some of the goals I would like to achieve, and if anyone has any advice or the like about how I might achieve these goals, that would be awesome.
1. I want to be able to hand out business cards with unique identifying numbers on each. New clients could then be asked if they are contacting me using one such card. If so, I could get the unique number of the card from them - and credit whom ever handed the new client the business card. Like an affiliate URL.
2. I would like to be able to provide people with an affiliate link they could use to send people to me. This would serve the same purpose. Allowing me to credit the right person if the new client turns into a contract.
3. These affiliates or 'partners' would be able to log in to my site, and see if they have any fees owed to them.
4. Partners would ideally be able to click a button and ask to have some more business cards (or brochures) sent to them with unique identifiers on them tied to them as the affiliate.
Now I would also like to be able to allow my clients to sign up to the site to track projects and things later on. This is why I was thinking Membership (wpmudev plugin) would be useful. I could create different membership levels for clients, or for partners. And potentially allow them to have both.
Some caveats I see are that automation would be difficult or expensive. So I am willing to do a lot of manual work to manage requests, payments, and other things like that. Just so long as I have some system in place to make sure I can manage things accurately.
Another caveat is that my services are not fixed prices. So I can't use the affiliate plugin to just straight up manage affiliate fees. All my clients are different and pay different fees. But I would still like to be able to leverage the concept of affiliate fees.
I know I know.. Sounds so vague, but that's part of my confusion. I really am not sure the best ways for me to go about this.
(I'm open to both free and paid options depending too!)