Arguably, every business owner shares the same goal: To maximize their profits. One of the most effective ways to maximize profits and grow a business quickly is to enter into a joint venture.
Understand Joint Ventures
A joint venture is simply a partnership that is generally formed between two or more businesses. The partners in a joint venture generally share profits, information, the market, and intellectual property rights.
A small business joint venture, for example, might be a Web design business that partners with a communications firm to offer complete Web design, content, and promotion. A recent example of a joint venture between large companies is MySpace teaming up with major music labels to create MySpace Music.
Consider the benefits to your business
A joint venture can only truly be successful if each party in the joint venture benefits. While maximizing profits is a common reason for joint ventures, it isn’t the only reason businesses team up. A joint venture may be the result of a desire to expand market position, to create new technology, or to reduce the competition. Consider why you want to establish a joint venture and how it will benefit you and your business.
Weigh the possible disadvantages
You must also consider the potential downsides of a joint venture. If you partner with a business and it doesn’t work, you will have wasted your time, and you could potentially lose money and threaten your credibility in the eyes of your customers.
Search for potential JV partners
Once you have determined you would like to establish a joint venture, you must find potential partners. Let’s consider the small business joint venture between a Web designer and a communications firm.
If you are a Web designer who wants to offer content and promotion but you don’t have the skills, you’ll want to find a writer or a business that can offer both. To find potential joint venture partners, ask your contacts if they know anyone looking for a joint venture, network, research online, and ask members of any relevant organizations of which you are a member.
Another effective way of finding potential joint venture partners is to write and submit press releases when you have an announcement to make about your business, such as the signing of a new client. Public relations campaigns can often result in those interested in joint ventures seeking you out.
Vet potential JV partners
Thoroughly vet each potential joint venture partner to determine with whom you want to work. Remember, all members of a joint venture should benefit in some way from the joint venture, so keep that in mind as you consider potential partners.
Complete the legalities
After you’ve found a joint venture partner with whom you want to work, you must sign a joint venture agreement that outlines the terms of your partnership. Rather than using a generic joint venture agreement that you can typically find online or in business books, hire an attorney to write a detailed joint venture agreement for you. While you will have to invest in having the agreement written by an attorney, you will also save yourself headaches down the road because you took the time to do it right the first time.