The term “joint venture” (JV) might sound like a complex, big-business-only tactic, which is why so many small companies give them a pass.
Yet they are not complicated at all. Joint ventures are a powerful concept that can help small companies succeed in every industry. It’s a way for you or any of your clients to maximize growth with minimal risk.
What Is a Joint Venture?
For our purposes, the main idea behind a joint venture is that it’s a way to “borrow” another company’s audience or resources. In more legalistic terms, two companies pool their resources to achieve a specific short-term task for mutual profit. Each partner contributes assets and shares risks. Each partner remains a separate business entity.
The reason JV’s can work so well is that your partner already has credibility and trust from their clients. By promoting you to their list, credibility and trust is implicit. You don’t have to spend weeks or months building a relationship.
4 Examples of Marketing Joint Ventures
Here are four examples of how a marketing joint venture might work.
⏩ “I have a list, you have a list.”
If you and the potential JV partner have similar size client lists, they promote your product to their list, and you promote their product to yours.
⏩ “I have a product, you have a list.”
They offer your product to their list via email and/or direct mail. They get a generous commission on sales. Even though you make less profit on the sales, (or perhaps break even,) the end result is that you get more customers on your list.
This tactic works well when two client lists are not similar sizes.
When setting commissions for the JV partner in this scenario, keep in mind that the cost to acquire a new customer can be quite high. Your offer should be generous enough to motivate the partner, and to make their effort worthwhile.
They get more revenue from a new product or service. You get new customers that you can sell to for years to come.
⏩ Guest Training - "I have a skill that can solve one of your clients big problems."
Find a business, group, or organization with a similar client base. Identify some problem that's common in their audience that you know how to solve. Offer to do a "guest training" session, virtual or in-person, that shows how to solve that problem.
For example, if your team has excellent direct mail skills, you might partner with the local Chamber of Commerce or similar group to offer a workshop on the topic. Or join up with the owner of a local coworking space company to promote the workshop to their clients.
⏩ “I have a list of clients who need more services; you have the resources to provide them.”
For example, you want to offer catalogs or other publications to your clients, but you only have small-press or quick-copy capabilities. You work with us here at WTP to produce these catalogs. You simply promote to your list.
Benefits of JV Partnerships
These are just four quick examples of how a good JV can work. You can see how the benefits are significant. A good JV can do many things.
✅ It can offer instant access to new markets
✅ It can increase sales and margins
✅ It can help with a product launch
✅ It can build trust and credibility
✅ It can grow your list of prospects
✅ It can offer access to better staff, software, hardware, and other resources
✅ It can increase productivity and efficiency
✅ It can improve the quality of your products and services
Where to Find Good JV Partners
Some sources for good JV partners include:
• Local companies that serve the same niche you serve, or a related niche (shoulder niche)
• Distributors and suppliers to your business
• Local blogs
• Local Facebook or other social media groups
• Local companies whose products or services you use
• Your community connections and network
• Local conferences, events, trade shows, seminars, and virtual summits
You can read about how three printing companies successfully partnered with us to grow their companies in Case Studies - Growing Print Businesses Using a Trade Printer.
Want to talk about the various ways we might be able to partner? Call me at 559-251-8595 ext. 411.
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