Joint Ventures Used Wisely for Online Entrepreneurs
Joint ventures can be defined as a commercial enterprise undertaken jointly by two or more parties that otherwise retain their distinct identities. This business entity is generally characterized by shared ownership, shared returns and risks, and shared governance and participation. Many people seem to think of a partnership as a type of joint venture, but for the purposes of this discussion I’d like to consider these two arrangements — joint ventures and partnerships — as separate entities. You may want to consider these options when you get started as an online entrepreneur, especially if your previous business experience is somewhat limited.
My first experience with a JV project came in 2009 when Dr. Jeanette Cates and I decided to teach an online class together. She had already been working online for about fifteen years when we met, so it did not make sense for us to become partners. There are also legal considerations to take into account, but since I am not an attorney or other professional in the areas of business, finance, taxes, or anything similar I will not share my thoughts and opinions on this part of the equation. Instead, I’d like to focus on exactly how a joint venture can be beneficial to you.
Because of Jeanette’s vast experience, she was in charge of handling all of the behind the scenes pieces. This included using her shopping cart to take orders and her autoresponder service to stay in contact with the people who registered for our training. Once a week she updated the spreadsheets in our shared Google Docs folder so that I could see what was happening.
We shared ownership of the course, meaning that we both worked on the course content, the membership site, and presenting the material to our students. Her tech team completed the work we needed done for this and that worked extremely well. We used Jeanette’s hosting company, while I purchased the necessary domain names.
This was quite a learning experience for me, and being able to work virtually alongside someone of Dr. Cates’ caliber made it possible for me to have some on the job training in my newly founded and conceived online business. If I wasn’t sure of something we were doing, I would simply contact Jeanette to discuss it. In fact, our arrangement progressed so smoothly that we went on to create additional courses and programs, as well as a series of workshops and conferences throughout the next several years.
Then we decided to create a course on exactly how to set up and implement a joint venture as a new entrepreneur. We offered this training for two years and many people told us how grateful they were to learn from two people who had actually been quite successful with this business model.
My primary advice if you are considering this is to make sure you choose a joint venture partner you can see eye to eye with when it comes to specific choices and decisions that must be made. Start with something small, like Jeanette and I did with our first course and then move on to bigger and more sophisticated projects over time as the relationship evolves, You’ll be glad you did and your success will be all the sweeter.
I’m Connie Ragen Green, online marketing strategist, bestselling author, and international speaker on the topics of entrepreneurship and inner game mind shifts. Let’s connect to see how I may best serve you in the near future.