What are your fields of expertise? What business process have you mastered? Have you developed a new and useful product? When you form a joint venture, you need to bring your strengths to the table and find a way to leverage those strengths with your joint venture partner to benefit both parties.
A joint venture can result in changes to your own business, or require you to build on the resources you already have in place to make the venture a success. However, it’s important to have a strong strategy and know where your strengths can best be utilized before taking on such a partnership.
Disney Breaks into Russia through Joint Ventures
Want to break into new markets? Here’s an example where the Walt Disney Company utilized its marketing strengths to form a joint venture with Media-One Holdings Limited. Media-One is a major broadcaster in Russia who owns and operates over 30 televisions stations throughout the country. Disney proposed a joint venture with Media-One to launch a Disney-branded television channel to be broadcasted in Russia.
Disney offered to use marketing, content support, and programming to design a family-oriented channel. Disney would also provide cash and acquisition support for a 49% stake in the venture. Media-One would hold a majority stake and receive the benefit of Disney’s name brand and media experience.
As a result, Media-One’s knowledge and operational experience in Russia, broadcast station portfolio, and advertising sales expertise created a unique family entertainment channel that plans to launch in 2009 with great success.
The goal of this joint venture was to become the most popular free television channel to kids and families in Russia, and create a large and profitable revenue stream from advertising sales. The strength of Disney’s brand name and outstanding programming capabilities are sure to make it a success.
Mom and Pop Stores to Disney Conglomerates: Joint Ventures Work
Your combined strengths in a joint venture can very well increase your productivity, help your business grow faster, and produce greater revenue. Choosing the right partner can be the key to the success of the venture. In the above example, Disney chose the Russian television-broadcasting leader to ensure that the proposed channel would reach the biggest markets. That doesn’t mean you try to form joint ventures with only Fortune 500 companies. However, you should take a look at the success of your potential partner.
A JV partner should compliment your strengths as well. Do both of you reach completely different markets? Does each of your products or services fit well together? Your best chance at a successful joint venture is one where both parties can offer something to the other resulting in financial rewards for all.
Joint ventures aren’t a way for one party to depend on the other to do the work. Make sure you are willing to share your expertise and time, and ensure that your potential partner is willing to do the same. With combined strengths, your joint venture equation could most certainly be 1 + 1 = greater than 2.
christian fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A joint venture marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.