The Synergistic Power of Joint Ventures to Grow Your Business
So you’ve registered your business name, printed some business cards, and announced your business at a network or two. You may even have your first clients or customers, and are beginning to establish some regular clientele and repeat business.
So, what next? How do you take your new business from fledgling to full flight?
One very powerful way is via joint ventures or strategic alliances.
The beauty of joint ventures is they allow you to leverage what your knowledge and products and services, through the power of unity. Joint ventures are synergistic in nature, which means the partnership has far more value than the sum of its individual parts. This synergy means that you can reap far greater rewards together, than you could possibly do so alone.
At first glance it appears that joint ventures benefit the partners involved, and that’s true. You can pool your resources, split associated costs, and benefit from sharing one another’s database and network connections.
But I want to emphasise that the value of a really good joint venture goes far beyond that. Ultimately it is your customers or clients that will benefit most.
So, what makes a good sustainable joint venture?
- Your partners will share a similar target market without being direct competitors (crossovers are quite acceptable with referral partners).
- You will ideally share similar values and beliefs, this will help your joint venture to survive over the long term, and avoid testy problems down the track!
- Consider a blended skill set, so that roles and tasks can be shared among you
- A shared commitment is essential… Begin with success in mind for the venture as a group, then do all you can to get a great result. Everyone has a part to play.
- Ultimately the customer must win. This is very important. If you want new clients to engage in your joint venture and associated offerings, and that it is irresistible to your customers!
Watch this video to see how a joint venture can be really successful for all (it’s a bit funny too!)
Here are some simple but effective joint venture examples:
1. Tempting and tasty
Gourmet Garden Herbs and Spices teamed up with the 4 Ingredients brand to create a unique recipe book using simple ingredients and tasty condiments. This product was also leveraged through the power of the COLES supermarket brand. Gourmet Garden and 4 Ingredients were able to expand their customer base into new markets, Coles was able to own exclusivity of the promotion, and the customer was the biggest winner of all, with an easy to use cook book that would allow them to create luscious recipes simply and easily, without the need for overly processed products.
2. A healthy approach
Vitality Options is a massage business that is locally owned by my husband Deane, specialising in sports recovery. He has used a variety of joint ventures since he first began 10 years ago that has included: a partnership with a local gym, partnering with local CrossFit events, and offering in-store massage on a monthly basis at REBEL Sport, Maroochydore.
The gym partnership: When Deane first began his business he had NO clients. By offering to sponsor a member of the month at the local fitness club, he was able to develop his clientele. 10 years on, the very first member of the month is still a client! This initial venture was the very foundation for the success of his business today.
The event sponsorship: Vitality Options is closely aligned with the local CrossFit community. Each year he sponsors the awards for Clash on the Coast, and event attracting participants from across the country. The awards are beautiful and highly coveted! He also provided the use of Start and Finish line equipment and branded markers for triathlons and Parkrun events.
The retail presence: For the last 2 years he has enjoyed a monthly presence at his local REBEL Sport. This allows him to increase his reach to his target audience, as well as offering an added bonus to those frequenting the store.
So, where do you begin?
- Get clarity on your target audience first. This is essential before proceeding
- Make a short list of potential partners who share that audience, and appear to have similar values to you
- Create a simple proposal outlining your idea with a “what’s in it for me” message for your potential partner.
- Contact each partner, letting them know you have an idea where you can pool resources for mutual benefit.
Once you have initiated the discussion, your ideas will grow from there. Remember. The joint venture MUST be irresistible to your potential clients to work. The more you understand your clients, and what they want, the easier it will be to create something that will expand and grow your business.
If you have insights you can share about your own joint ventures, please share them in the comments. It’s a wonderful way to help your community.
All the best for your joint (ad)ventures!