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Joint Ventures

We hope that your business will achieve great commercial success.

However, experience has taught us that sometimes a business can be more quickly (and reliably) "catapulted" to growth and financial stability by partnering with another "more established" business, such that some synergies are realised by the partnership. These relationships can vary from a casual "gentleman's agreement" to other more formal arrangements, involving a signed contract.

Among the benefits are the ability to conduct business jointly without actually having a single legal business structure.

The agreement or collaboration could vary in its terms, for example, it may mean that you have established a loose working relationship whereby you will endeavour to market for each other to your respective contact/ client lists, possibly even bundling your products or services together. In this way, you are leveraging the talents of two or more people in each business to create a bigger product or service. In Intellectual Property terms, it is common for two undertakings who have separate legal structures to jointly form a business or contract to do research collaboratively, whereby any resulting IP is jointly owned, such that the Patents & Designs, etc are made in the name of the two undertakings. This also means that the burden of maintenance of such rights is split between two parties, which can be advantageous, when it is desirable to gain "international protection", as it means each party only have to pay towards half the costs (which are substantial for international protection).

A more structured joint venture or collaborative partnership may entail signing agreements or contracts that outline certain obligations from each of the autonomous parties. Like the previous arrangement, this too could provide some leverage power of a bigger / complementary product or service and also provide a certain measure of accountability, but without the liabilities of taking on a partner into your business. If the contract is not fully honored, since the arrangement is "loose" and none of the collaborators are part of your company, the failure can be mitigated by finding a different collaborator.

Partnering with complimentary businesses can also increase your sphere of influence in that it can enable you to reach more people without the need for additional resources. Additionally, if you choose the right collaboration partners you may also create a situation whereby both your new-found partner and yourself, learns from each other's activities, which can be a good mentoring / growth/ personal development opportunity.

Below are a few tips which we have put together, which you should look out for in identifying collaborative partners:

  1. Make a list of complimentary industries that have a similar target audience as your business or whose products and services would compliment your own.

  2. From this list, select a number of businesses, whom you know to be high achievers, and whom you admire.

  3. Schedule a brainstorming session with a number of businesses from this list, to ascertain areas of collaboration with them. Make sure that they are interested in a possibility of working together with a view to profit. Even if you both decide that collaborating at this moment is not the right step, you could learn a lot from such a session.