A successful joint venture marketing effort is the goal of many small businesses, and is a great way to increase market visibility and profits.
Joint venture marketing is rising in popularity everyday, but it does take some skill, good planning and foresight to execute. Here are the steps a business owner should take to be successful in this arena
1.Write down your goals and desired outcome
Be sure to have specific, measurable and action-oriented goals for your joint venture, along with a realistic time frame for their execution. These should be written down and easily accessible so that you can refer to them when implementing your action plan.
2.Analyze the target market you want to reach
Begin by reviewing your current clientele, then choosing the clientele you want to attract. Analyze your target market for buying habits, marketing trends, etc. Brainstorm other products and services used by your target market and determine whether there's synergy with what you offer.
3.Identify potential partners who already serve this clientele
Think of potential partners that have influence and credibility with your target market. Remember that your network of business associates, suppliers, family and friends may be a good fit or can introduce you to prospective partners. Create a list of potential partners that offer the best expansion opportunities, and have the most desirable client base.
4.Determine your joint venture format
Do you want to offer a profit sharing format, or a reciprocal arrangement, or both? If you choose to pay your partner a percentage of the profits, then you will pay them a specific amount or percentage for each new client they send your way. If you choose a reciprocal arrangement, then you will systematically send clients to each other. Think of something that is of high perceived value to offer the clients.
5.Determine your budget
It goes without saying that you should control costs from the beginning of a project. That means you need to sit down at the start and list every item that's required to carry out the joint venture.
6.Create an action plan and implement it
Once you've listed your potential partners, create an action plan. This should detail the steps you'll take to approach them and implement your joint venture project e.g. I'll contact Joe Bloggs of XYZ Corporation on July 15th. To keep you focused, refer to your goals when creating and implementing your action plan. Also note that the details of your action plan will change depending on the pace at which the project goes.
7.Contact your partners and open the door for discussions
Make initial contact with your potential partners and set up a meeting. You can contact them by phone, snail mail or email, but phone remains the best contact method. At the meeting, keep your eyes and ears open to make sure the market fit is as good as you initially thought. Also, ensure that the chemistry is good between you and your prospective partners. Emphasize the benefits of your proposal.
8.Decide on either a contract or a hand shake deal
If you choose a contract, ensure that it specifies terms for review, and doesn't lock you into any long term arrangement without specific criteria for profitability being met. If you choose a hand shake deal, be sure you trust your partner!
9.Launch your joint venture and test the results
Start small by doing a test run first. Write, print and send the endorsement letter and implement the tracking system. Make sure you're equipped to handle the flood of new clients once you've set the joint venture into motion.
These steps are simple and easy to execute. If you follow them appropriately, you can look forward to having profitable, win-win joint venture projects! As with any marketing strategy, remember to test, tweak, track and review results until you find the best fit.