A really great way to make a huge difference in your business is to partner up with someone else in a joint venture (JV) partnership. A JV partnership is not really a true business partnership in that you don’t combine your entire business. You simply join forces with another entity or person for one project.
The project is usually long term; many people form successful JV partnerships that end up lasting for years. A JV is working on a long-term product together but it does not combine the entirety of either business owners’ business.
1. Choose Your Partners Wisely
When you decide that you want to find someone to do a JV with, it’s important that you choose wisely. You want to choose someone who has complementary skills as you, who does not compete directly with you, but who serves the same target audience that you do. You want them to be hard workers, honest, ethical, and people who stick to their promises. In a joint venture the partners must work well together. There is no leading entity to break up fights or solve problems.
2. Clearly Define the Terms of the JV
Once you’ve chosen your JV partner(s) then it’s time to sit down together and hash out the terms of the agreement. You want everyone to be on the same page. If it’s a 50/50 situation you need to define who has the final say. Does consensus have to be made or does one person have the final say when making decisions that affect the JV? Usually, both JV partners are 50/50 with no one person having final say. This means that on issues where a consensus cannot be made, the answer defers to the no.
3. Create a Standard Operating Procedures Manual
A standard operating procedure (SOP) manual is a great way to put in writing what you will do for various situations. It will state how you will train contractors or employees, how decisions are made, and how the business works from day to day. Create the documents together so that both of you have input in everything about the JV. The document should clearly define what duties each person in the partnership is responsible for doing.
4. Get It in Writing Legally
The SOP is great for working out procedures, but you still need legal documents that define your JV partnership. You want the legal documents to include how one party can get out of the agreement, as well as having it in writing that the JV partnership has nothing to do with the rest of each of your businesses. The JV legal paper work should define how outcomes are shared, what resources each will provide, the shared goals, risks, and burdens of each party to the JV.
Working on a joint venture together with another talented business owner allows your business to move beyond what it could without the JV partnership. Together the partnership is better than the sum of its parts. A well-formed JV partnership can allow the individuals involved to accomplish something in business that they could not do alone.