I was coaching a new client this past week and as I began to share my strategy ideas around building his business he stared at me like a deer in headlights. It was at that point I realized that what I was offering was a little bit too advanced for someone new at building a business. I have the personal flaw where I constantly think others know what I do and then I don’t share what I know.
So today I felt that I could share one thing that I consider fundamental to building a business for those who are newer in the business world…and that is the topic of joint ventures.
In my opinion, joint venture agreements are the quickest way to build a business and they are a staple in the business world across industries. But first, some of you might ask what a Joint Venture is. According to Google a joint venture is a commercial enterprise undertaken jointly by two or more parties that otherwise retain their distinct identities. But in plain English, a joint venture is when two companies come into an agreement that helps them both get more customers, sell more services, or sell more products etc.
This means if you have a new business you want to find other businesses that target your demographic, partner with them to refer business to them and they refer business to you. An example of this is my upcoming workshop I am holding I reached out to businesses that want to target my same demographic with their services, I have asked them to provide marketing materials and swag which I will give out to my attendee’s in exchange for them promoting my workshop. The more businesses I partner with and the more people that attend, the greater value I can provide.
You can also partner with business owners that offer similar services as yourself but not the same. In that I am a coach, I have partnered with a few other fitness coaches that refer clients to me and I refer clients to them. We specialize in different areas but our clients can benefit from the connection.
I highly recommend that when you enter a joint venture that you get the agreement into writing, such as a joint venture agreement that is signed and complied to. Sometimes this may include a nondisclosure or confidentiality agreement, letter of intent, pricing agreements, and more. You can hire an attorney to help you with the legal documentation to make sure you are crossing your T’s and I believe that no matter how casual your agreement with someone is that you both sign an official agreement. It just helps to clarify expectations on both sides and makes sure that there are no misunderstandings, and that both parties hold up their side of the agreement. This can also protect your relationships!
The American Bar Association offers a list of everything to consider when starting a joint venture. See documentation here
You can also use services such as this one that can help you make sure your agreement has everything it needs in it and if you need an attorney sometimes these services can help you with basic needs.
Building your business should never be just dependent upon how many individuals you can reach, but how you can partner with other businesses. That is also why understanding B2B is important even if you are a B2C. It is also why understanding B2B networking and relationship management is extremely important if you want to continue to build and expand your business (and why I go on and on about it so much).
So you may be asking where to start? If you can make a list of all the services your ideal client might utilize that is a good place to focus. What services would they use and what would benefit them? Then reach out to these companies and negotiate a win win! And before you reach out, make sure you do some investigation on linkedin, find out who the decision makers are and who you should be talking to before you call. Find out what their pain points are and find a way that your joint venture could help solve some of those pain points.