A joint venture can be a great way to jumpstart your internet career – especially if you’re just starting out. Even if you aren’t just starting out, the benefits of a JV are many, and when done right, they can provide you with a large boost in both reputation and profits. However, if you’re not familiar with joint ventures and you’ve never done one before, there are several beginner mistakes that can make your chances of success much lower. Read on to find out what they are and how to avoid them.
Doing a JV deal of the wrong size. This is usually when people do a joint venture that’s either too small to make a profit, or they approach someone much, much bigger than them and don’t have anything to bring to the table. Now, you can approach someone who has a larger business or email list than you do for a joint venture – but you need to adjust the deal accordingly. Either you handle all the tech grunt work, or the percentage is split accordingly due to email list size, or some other agreement is reached. This makes it much more likely for the other person to like and accept your deal.
Not deciding guidelines at the beginning. Those guidelines should be agreed upon by both parties, before any work starts on the actual joint venture itself, and then delivered in writing to everyone involved. It might sound unnecessary, especially if you’re working with someone that you know, trust, and like, but discussing every part of the venture and then laying out everything you decided can prevent disagreements later on down the road. Make sure to discuss the percentages involved, what kind of promotion each of you will do, what kind of work each of you will do – in detail, when all of this will be done, and how long you’re planning on working together.
Not checking out your partner. When you do a joint venture with someone, you’re very literally tying your reputation in with theirs. If you do a joint venture with someone who you’ve only superficially looked into, you could potentially do a lot of damage to your reputation and thus your business, because there might be scandals, conflicts, or issues that you weren’t aware of. If they have any previous business partners or associates that you’re aware of, approach them discreetly and tell them that you’re preparing to do a joint venture with this person and was wondering if they had any advice.
Not devising an exit strategy. Sometimes, even the best business partnerships go south. In the event that that happens, you need to have already decided how to handle it, so that you can handle it calmly and professionally without getting caught up in the heat of the moment. Another good idea is to make a (private) list of dealbreakers at the beginning of the deal – if your partner does any of these things, you’re going to get out, and that’s that. Deciding these issues ahead of time make it much easier for you to handle issues if and when they occur, and will make your exit as painless as possible for everyone involved.
Working together long term right off the bat. The best idea is to do you first joint venture with someone as a finite deal – there’s a specific date that it ends. Offerings like classes or courses are ideally suited to this, and this way, you get a sense of what it’s like to work with this person and know that you can trust them in a business deal, without them pulling any funny business. Your first joint venture with them will pave the road for more, and those can safely be longer-term now that you’ve tested the waters.
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