Joint Venture- A-Z of Growing Your Business Online

Joint Venture

This month I’m taking the alphabet and giving you tips from each letter on how to grow your business online. Today’s letter is J for Joint Venture

A Joint Venture is a great way to grow your business by increasing your exposure to new audiences and increasing the amount of money that you earn.

A joint venture is typically a partnership between two people/businesses (or more) where they pool their skills and resources to complete a goal. It is great as you expose your business to your partner’s audience, and vice versa so that you both grow your audiences. And, as each person has unique things to offer in a joint venture, you are able to create something that you couldn’t do on your own.

How do joint ventures come together? Well, you have to initiate something. Here are some steps you can take to initiate a Joint Venture. Of course, each JV is different depending on the circumstances, this is just one way you can go about it. Here is one way you can initiate a JV.

Come Up With Your Project Idea

It is so much easier to start something if you have an idea. It doesn’t have to be a fully fleshed out idea, but you need an initial idea. Other wise it gets into the territory of:
“We should do something together!”
“Yeah, we should.”
And the conversation ends.

So have an idea that you can present. Ideally in a JV you will then develop the idea together, but you need to start somewhere.

Contact Your Potential Partner

Next you need to pitch your idea to your potential partner.

I highly believe you should have already established a relationship with this person. They are more likely to go for it if you do. It’s not impossible if you haven’t, but I personally don’t think it is right to ask someone for a JV if you haven’t ever had contact before.

The reason for this is you are essentially at this stage asking for a favour. You are asking them to trust and be excited for your idea, and you are asking them to devote their time and effort on it. So I wouldn’t establish your relationship by asking for a favour. Approach someone you know, and ideally someone you feel you know more than just a passing acquaintance.

Make your pitch straight to the point. No one needs a long back story – you can share that later. Get to the point, and be specific. Don’t just say what your idea is, say what it is specifically you are asking your potential partner. This moves into my next point…

Make It Easy

As I said before, if you are approaching a JV in this manner, you are asking for a favour. So make it easy for your potential partner, and be decisive.

I have been approached by people who make things difficult for me, and so I am just not interested. They want me to help them come up with the idea, they don’t have any concrete goals with what they want to achieve. By doing this, you are making it too hard for me. That doesn’t make me excited.

Clearly say what it is that you want to achieve and what my role would be in the venture, and why it would benefit me. As I said, things can change and evolve, but right now you are really trying to sell your idea to me.

This is for your benefit as well. You do not want to partner with someone who does not share your ideas and goals. So don’t be wishy washy, be specific.

In contrast with the people I mentioned above who have emailed me without a concrete idea, I have had people say to me “Here’s my idea, this is what I want you to do.” And I’ve gone for it. Because I didn’t have to think. I did what they were asking because we had already established a relationship, and because they told me what they wanted and I could do it. Sure, I made my part my own, and things have changed from the original idea. But they made it so easy I didn’t have any reason to say no.

Establish Expectations

If your potential partner becomes your actual partner, you need to establish your expectations and goals. I have observed many partnerships turn sour, even though they began as strong partnerships, because they never clearly said what they were wanting to get out of this. You have to make sure that everything aligns.

Write it down. That way as things change and evolve, and time goes on, you have something to go back to and reference (or change as well). Create a written document with what each person is expected to provide and produce in the partnership, what each person’s role is, and what the intended out come is. You will probably be surprised in this process how each person’s expectations are probably different.

You will produce a better product if everything is more aligned.

Don’t Be Afraid of NO

Don’t be afraid of the word no. As I said before, you need to be specific in what you want to do. This means that you are more likely to get a no. But, don’t be afraid of that word because you want to have a partnership with someone who is perfect for you and your idea. And just because someone says no to this idea doesn’t mean that something else wont be a possibility in the future. By simply asking, you are opening up doors. By not asking, you open nothing.

So don’t be afraid to ask. You never know where you might end up. If you don’t ask, you stay where you are.

Tell me about your JV experiences

Any big flops? Any tips to making it smoother for everyone? Let me know in the comments below!

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Hey Carlie,

This article is really interesting since I have been thinking about creating a team that would be some sort of a “mastermind group” in a website. Joint ventures might be a good idea but I do fear that there will come a time when I lose control of my ideas. Sort of like when Steve Jobs lost Apple for a few years. I believe I have hinted you on a joint venture before but I might have “made it hard” for you. Oh well. Great article


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