Joint ventures are juicy. They’re all about two or more businesses combining resources to create a win-win situation.
Entrepreneurs know they should be “doing” joint ventures (JVs for short)—but the big question is, how do you find good JV partners?
You need to find partners who have the same client base as you do, so ask yourself: “who else do my clients buy from?” For example, if you’re a personal trainer, then your clients are also buying the services of a chiropractor or a massage therapist. So, you want to joint venture with a massage therapist, or a chiropractor.
Where to Begin
The hands-down best place to start is with people in your network. These are folks who already know you, like you and trust you: your friends and colleagues. It’s a lot easier to start with someone you’ve already established a relationship with, right?
(If they aren’t the right fit, they still may be able to introduce you to someone who is.)
Another place to find partners is in the communities that you’re already a part of. Examples of these would include mastermind groups, associations and local networking groups. These are great places to find JV partners because there are usually opportunities for visibility and networking in a structured environment.
What About Online?
You can also find JV partners online, but a word of caution here: do your homework first if they don’t know you yet. Observe them, their business and their website. Get on their list. Study how they work. Why? In order to make a case as to why there is a synergy for you to do something together, you need to show you’ve done your research.
It’s always better to have some sort of relationship formed before you approach someone cold. That’s why social media can be really helpful these days because it’s a way for you to connect with people first and create that relationship and get on their radar. I’ve had several great JVs come about via these channels. Two of the first ones I ever did my first few months in business were through Twitter. Those still pay me dividends today in a lot of ways: people on my list, clients and repeat customers.
Another method? Set up Google Alerts on certain keywords. You just never know what you might glean from those.
Also, sometimes you can identify potential JV partners by looking at your former and current clients too, so don’t forget that option.
Face Time Goes a Long Way
Personally, I’m a big believer in the power of showing up where they show up. Many times I’ve experienced the power of attending live events when it comes to planting the seeds of collaboration. A little bit of face-time is huge. (Follow up afterward too!)
Your next action step? Get started by making a list of everyone in your network who may be a potential JV partner, or who can introduce you to people that are potentially good partners. Brainstorm other people, companies and websites that are reaching your ideal clients. Who would compliment what you offer, but not directly compete? Who has a message that resonates with you and what you offer?
Overall, it comes down to creating relationships rooted in authenticity and integrity. Do that and you will do multiple joint ventures with people who will then introduce you to others and spread the word.
What’s great about that is that then people will start approaching YOU. (We love that!) It will happen if you simply follow these steps.