A good way to increase profits, reduce risk and broaden your market is by joining forces with a competitor. Maybe not all of the time, but a project or two may be a good way for both of you to grow your businesses and to see if a long-term association is worthwhile.
If you have multiple businesses, the joint venture may be just one of those businesses, and the others you continue to run on your own. There are a few ways to work with your competitor.
- Be creative. For example, if you’re both life coaches, you can offer more seminars in more places for mutual benefit.
- Create a shared company name to help you brand your services.
- Make sure the venture is on an equal footing. It’s probably a good idea to get a legal agreement that clarifies exactly what is shared, who is the boss, and other details. A legal document gives you the way in and the way out, if you need to end the venture.
- Create a business plan for the venture. The plan should detail what the goals are and how you’re going to reach them together. You can’t work at cross-purposes if you want to succeed.
Of course, the most important factor in a joint venture, is trust. Without mutual trust and openness what could have been a successful venture (the usual result of a joint venture is success) will fall flat on its face.
Lucinda Cross, known as the Business Midwife, is the author and speaker of Corporate Mom DropOuts. The company provides signature online and offline educational marketing strategies and mentoring for mom entrepreneurs.