joint venture marketing
It sounds so good at the beginning; you meet with a prospective partner, see eye-to-eye on your goals for the joint venture and then sign on the bottom line. Once the joint venture is established, your new partner suddenly becomes incommunicado.
If you are facing a non-performing partner, there are some steps you can take to salvage the arrangement. We have tips to help you respond appropriately when your JV partner doesn’t perform as expected.
Setting Clear Expectations
Before you establish that first joint venture, it is important to set clear expectations about what each partner’s responsibilities. If the primary goal is to build a bigger customer base, your main responsibility will be marketing. Lay out clear guidelines for what each partner will bring to the advertising table in terms of time, talent and other resources. If your partner doesn’t follow through on his promise, at least you have some recourse down the road.
Falling Back on the Written Contract
The best way to protect yourself from a non-performing JV partner is to put your entire agreement into writing before launching a single aspect of the agreement. The contract can be written using a template found online or through a lawyer’s office that specializes in these types of partnerships. With a written contract in hand, you can hold your partner accountable for his side of the bargain.
Keeping in Touch with Your Partner
Regular communication will alert you early to any potential problems that might be brewing. Rather than setting a deadline for a particular project six months down the road, set monthly tracking meetings to measure your progress. This lets you know if you are falling behind your schedule, and it holds your partner accountable for the duties he is supposed to perform in a shorter time frame.
Developing a Relationship
Joint ventures are much more likely to work when the partners develop a relationship with one another. While you don’t have to nurture a social relationship, a professional relationship is very important to the success of your JV. Partners will be less likely to disappoint those with whom they have a positive relationship, particularly if a damaged relationship could also damage them in the professional realm. Take the time to get to know your partner and let him know you as well.
Cutting Your Losses and Moving On
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a joint venture simply will not transpire into the successful business arrangement you hoped. At a particular point, you may determine it is better business to simply cut your losses and move on, rather than try to salvage something from the relationship. If your current JV partner is not responding to your emails or phone calls, or consistently fails to keep his promises, this may not be a business owner you want to continue working with.
Joint ventures can be a very effective way to build a business, as long as both partners are willing to give the arrangement their full effort and resources. If you find yourself in a partnership with a business that is not willing to tow its own line, you may need to look elsewhere for a more successful partnership.
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.
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