Craig always knew he was not destined for the corporate world. He would always find himself butting heads with management and not be able to take directives because he was looking at the bigger picture. Any time he spoke to his friends and family, they would tell him to quit and start a business of his own. He had the ideas – he was full of ideas, but he was missing one crucial factor.
He had no money. He had the perfect idea for a business that he knew he could pull off if he had the right amount money. Things stayed the same until one day when it all got to be too much for Craig, and he knew he had to get out of the cubicle. He walked into his boss’ office and tried to talk through the problems he was having with his ideas being blocked, but unfortunately Craig’s boss could not see his value. Craig shook his boss’ hand, packed up his stuff and walked out. He knew that as long as he could find some joint venture partners, he could get this business off the ground, and so he began his hunt.
If this story sounds familiar, if you feel itching to get out of the office or you have that idea that is busting to get out of your brain, it might be high time to look for some partners to help you fund your business. Joint ventures are one of the top ways to secure growth in your venture. There are a number of ways to find suitable partners and realistically it is just about finding the right one that suits you, your lifestyle and your business.
Complimentary product or service
When two businesses have a similar clientele and are centred around the same product or industry, it’s very easy to create a joint venture around that product or service. For example, if you are a day spa, you can team up with a local hairdresser and work together to create a one-stop-shop for people looking to beautify themselves. The best way to approach this is just to step out and ask over email to set up a meeting. People are more than willing to sit down and if you can show them how the deal will be beneficial for them.
Most businesses have strengths and weaknesses and it is up to you to identify businesses you have what you need, and need what you have. Look for a joint venture partner in the same niche or different niche that you can utilise for what they have. For example, if you have a really good subscriber list and good sales funnels, but you don’t have a product or service strong enough to sell through those lists, look for someone with those. If you have been cultivating a blog for a long time, you are likely to have loyal readers, but you may not have a product or service. Look for someone that has a course or offering and then leverage that against your list.
Suppliers and distributors
There are always people that supply you goods or distribute your goods. These people are perfect potential joint venture partners as they are likely in the same industry and understand your business from a very different aspect. If you have a retail offering, look to the people who wholesale to you to form a joint venture. This could give you some success as they understand the retail business and understand where your supply is coming from.
Working with another company on advancing your product or service is a great way to get it to market sooner. Bigger companies look for new and exciting projects the develop as a new way to create ideas for their own company. They are likely to pay you a nice development fee to do so and all the while you can work on your product with someone with a great reputation behind them. In this instance, you really need to be clear with the contract making sure everything is exactly as so. You do not want to get burnt halfway down the track. Get a lawyer to look over a contract if you need to.
In the old days, finding a partner was about pounding the pavement and networking. These days you can find a great joint venture partner on the internet. Setting up a blog and sharing what you know and love across social media is so simple and connects you to people the world over.
Use your contacts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram to look for potential joint venture partners.
For example, if you are a graphic designer, you can look for people with products who are looking for amazing design and create joint ventures with them to have a share in the profits. This is a great way of expanding of your business and meeting new people. However, just as in the old days, face to face will always remain the best way to do business.
Another good place to find potential partners is in the communities that you already exist within. For example, if you are part of mastermind group, association or local networking group, take advantage of this network. This also gives you opportunities for visibility and networking in a structured environment if you use sponsorships and such.
This phenomenon is a great way to finding access to quick cash when you really need it. If you have a great idea for a business but just cannot seem to find a way to fund it, you can find strangers who are willing to fund you just to see your ideas get off the ground. Looking on kickstarter.com, and websites similar will give you a great start and might lead to some real money coming in.
So now you’ve found a joint venture partner through one of these avenues. What do you do now? There is a lot that can go wrong in business so carrying out these steps will ensure that you do not put your trust in the wrong hands:
- Due diligence: Research this person’s business and make sure you find out as much information as possible about the people that you are potentially going into business with.
- Total honesty: Be honest about money and your expectations of such. Honesty is always the best policy and when it comes to business, that is truly even more so.
- Similar work habits: If one person is a night owl and comes up with their most inspired work in the middle of the night, and the other person needs their 12 hours every night, things are going to get very tricky when one person is being called in the middle of the night. Make sure you understand your partner’s work habits so there are no nasty surprises down the track.
- Personality: If you totally dislike someone in personal life, all of their negative attributed are going to be amplified in the business world. Before you enter in to any contract, make sure you are fully aware of the person’s character traits.