If your business seems to have hit a plateau, boldly refuses to get off the ground or you are just looking to create an explosion of new clients/customers then you are a prime candidate for a joint venture (or strategic alliance) partnership.
What is a Joint Venture?
A joint venture is a partnership between two companies (or individuals) that combines their money, expertise and/or resources to create a new product or service (or to enrich an existing one).
Examples are everywhere, one being the JV between Nike and Apple with their Nike + Ipod where sports fanatics could buy shoes that wirelessly connect with their ipods (and now iphones) to give them information on how fast they run, how high they jump and even allow them to challenge sports stars in exercise routines. There is no doubt that these are two behemoth companies with a long history of successful product launches, however you can see that when two experts, even in completely different industries, come together in a joint venture, they both benefit from the credibility, the following and the exclusivity that they provide.
This extends to small businesses to an even greater extent, lets say you are a garden landscaper looking to boost your bottom line. Could you team up with an exterior decorator to provide a service that totally renovates the front of residential and commercial premises, making the owners the envy of the neighbourhood? Similarly you could approach a series of decorators and offer a referral scheme where they promote your service to their list of their clients for a small percentage of the sale price.
This is the quickest and easiest way to rapidly grow the number of leads that you have, just by using a little lateral thinking and sending a couple of emails, you could have your pipeline filled with customers that neither company would have had otherwise within days with virtually no effort.
Where can I find JV partners?
You can find them everywhere, from the local paper classifieds, to local/online stores or at those dreaded network meetup groups and trade shows. Forums social networks such as Linkedin and expert advice sites, for example from SelfGrowth.com you can find plenty of experts in a variety of fields with wide audiences that you could approach.
Take a few minutes to think about who your potential JV partners could be and you will find whole new avenues of opportunity open up for you to grow and expand into, with the bonus of building some fantastic relationships with affluent businesspeople.
A word of warning, you should always check the credentials of your potential partners, while there are some fantastic business people out there, partnering with the wrong one can seriously damage your credibility, put your business first and do your research and you will have no problem.