How to Make a Joint Venture Successful

Mar 2 20:53 2005 Valerie Vauthey Print This Article

Question: What was your first successful JV, and what were the steps you took to make it successful?

Hello. This is Valerie Vauthey speaking. I am the CEO & Founder of the fastestgrowing coaching company in North America and Europe:

I would like to share with you a few of my experiences regarding business andmore specifically with Joint Ventures.

I have started,Guest Posting grown, and sold FOUR Joint Ventures so far and I just started anew one.

Out of the first four JVs, 3 were a great success and 1 was a failure (though Idid not lose a dime, let's say I just did not make money).

Looking back at what made the JV successful, I think I can now reasonably wellunderstand why one went astray and did not generate the forecasted revenues.

The first JV I ever started was a high-tech company which applied the artificialintelligence concepts to financial markets.

Because I was not a techie person, the critical part of this JV was to find a50/50 partner who would be the techie side of the business. I would be thesales and CEO side of the business.

This is the #1 CFOS (Critical Factor of Success): Finding the right partner. Theright partner is the one who brings what you do not have and are not able toacquire easily. This requires a high-level of self esteem as one has to accepthis or her limits.

The right partner is also somebody you know well. Not a person met at a fair oron an online network and with whom you only exchanged a few emails. It is easyto get excited when we meet somebody online and find that we share a lot ofelements but always do your homework and learn as much as possible about theother person before jumping in the bath as we say in French.

If you do not find the right partner, then your JV is dead before even havingstarted!

What's the worst that can happen when you choose the wrong partner? Well, youcan be mislead. And this is easy to do! Since this partner knows things youdon't!

You can also be lied to when a partner who is supposed to bring a sales pipelineor access to hundreds of thousands of people, reveals him/herself as a nicespeaker with nothing in the basket (another French expression ;o)

One of the mistakes I have made and from which I have learned is that I used tobelieve my partners and follow them blindly. One time, I was approached by apotential partner who seemed extremely well connected and whose role would havebeen to spread the word while I would be the captain on board, the visionary.We did have a vision...but the millions of contacts? never materialized!That's ok. We will all make a mistake here and there. As long as we learn fromthem it is a lesson of life and we will remember it.

So remember:

  • choose a partner you know
  • preferably choose a partner who has experience
  • your partner should have an experience and a skill set you do not have
  • your partner should have access to a network of people you do not know
  • choose a partner who can prove what he/she says when it comes to sales pipeline and large distribution lists

#1 CFOS Good Example: To start my latest JV, I chose Kimberly Wells, one of ourgreat coaches on board at MyPrivateCoach.I have the vision. She has the skill set. We are totally complementary.The vision was to start an online boot camp company attractively priced at 99cents a day. I had known Kimberly for quite a while. We had had time toexchange and discover each other!After 6 months of brainstorming and work, we launched andwe started selling our first bootcamps within days.

#1 CFOS Bad example: Two years ago, I started a website with a person I barelyknew but who made me believe he had access to literally millions of addresses. Needless to say, these addresses did not exist. Now that I knowhow hard it is to build a meaningful subscribers list, I know why!I wasted my time on this but no money. Maybe my female intuition was talking tome while I slept! It still qualifies as a failure to me.

The #2 CFOS in a JV is timing and vision. People who start a JV tend to be in ahurry. They want to succeed yesterday as opposed to tomorrow. A JV is not a"regular" company where you have a CEO who drives the team. In a JV, ascommonly understood today, both partners have technically the same power.Because both parners can pull the company at the same time, it is important thatyour sense of timing be the same. Do you want to make 1 million within the next6 months? Does your partner want to make 10 millions within 12 months? Do youwant this to be a side business? Does he/she want this to be HUGE company?As you can see, if you do not have the same perception of things (vision andtiming) you are doomed to failure.

So remember:

  • choose a partner who has the same grand vision about what the business shouldbecome (a side-business or the next Microsoft)
  • choose a partner who thinks like you when it comes to timing: when do you wantsuccess to become true?

#2 CFOS Good Example:With Kimberly Wells on, we have the same vision. We want tobecome the reference when it comes to bootcamps and online self help. We also have the same timeframe as a reference: we are givingourselves 12 months to meet full success!

#2 CFOS Bad Example:With my not-so-successful JV, we had a major difference of perception when itcame to the vision and of course to the timing.I had another company to take care of, I did not have the same sense of urgencyas this person had. These two major (and should I say "critical")differences collided and we stopped working together.

This leads us to another point: how much time do you have?

One important point when you start any company for that matter, is the TIMEissue. This will be our #3 CFOS. One common cause of JV or busines failure in general is the lack of time or a poor time organization.If you are planning to start a JV on the side while taking care of your family,a time-consuming job and a intensive social life, chances are youwill not succeed. Does this sound tough? tough love maybe! But it is criticalthat you allocate all your energy and time to your new business venture.A new endeavor requires your full attention. What about finding a balancebetween your personal life and your business? I personally believe thatthere is no balance to be found in the first few months you start a business.YOu need an understanding spouse and family environment and go for it.Work hard and do not listen to those who sell seminars and expensive teleclassestrying to make you believe you can become rich and famous withoutworking hard. A key reason for failure is giving your time away to other peopleor projects. Be focused! ONLY ONE NEW BUSINESS AT A TIME.Don't you worry. As soon as your business takes off the ground thanks to yourhard work, you will be able to re-establish a nice personal/professional balance.

So remember:

  • you need to focus on ONE project at a time to be successful
  • you need to have ample time to start and grow your business
  • do not look for life balance when you start a business. It is very hard tomaintain and will be an energy drainer
  • do not spend your time and money on online programs which do not offer one-on-one support

#3 CFOS Good Example: You start a business like my last JV( while you are conducting another business. You allocatecleartime slots for this venture. YOu write them down as busy time and never scheduleanything at that time. For 30dayBootCamp, I allocated more time atthe beginning than now of course. But I always sticked to my resolution when itcame to time management. Now, this JV has taken off so I have reduced my time allotment for this project but I still stick to an organizedpattern.

#3 CFOS Bad Example: My not-so-successful JV was a victim of this CFOS. I simplydid not allocate enough time and resources in general to this project.Maybe becausesomewhere deep deep inside me I did not believe in it.

So, suppose you have found the right partner, you share the same vision, thesame timeline and you can allocate the same amount of resources...What's still missingto make this JV a big success? You still need: a great product, a target marketand a great networking ability (or enough cash in the bank to hirea great publicist!).Would that be enough? Well not even. YOu see, having the best partner on earth,the best product and a market waiting for you is not even enough..According to venture capitalists, on a scale from 1 to 10, an idea onlyrepresents 1! They like to say that what matters most is "Business Planning".Indeed, only when you have understood the inner details of your vision will yoube able to execute and become successful.

So our #4 CFOS is Business Planning. You cannot improvise when it comes tobusiness planning. If you don't know how to write a meaningful business plan, then hire aspecialist. I have been teaching how to write business plans for the past fewyears and I can say that only professional business plans get funded.Not looking for funds? Not a problem! YOu still need to thoroughly understandwhat your product will be, your market, your competitors, your execution plan,your marketing challenges, etc.....

So remember:

  • you need a great product
  • you need a target market (unless you are wealthy enough to create your own market)
  • you need a business plan

#4 CFOS Good Example: for my first high-tech startup, the one which developed asoftware based on artifial intelligence concepts, I wrote a complete50 page business plan. Only then did we uncover tricky aspects of our businessmodel. This helped us raise the money we needed and find theclients we wanted!

#4 CFOS Bad Example: I cannot talk for myself because I always do what I preachbut I will talk about startup failures. In the late 90's, VCs were easilyshowering with dollars any person with a great idea. Business Plan? not needed.A one-pager maybe but that was pretty much about it.Hence staggering sums put down the drain with countless startups. An idea is notenough, you need a plan!

There are other factors of success when you start and grow a JV. But if you doyour homework right, write a business plan (and insist on the parts you dislikemost, this is where you are likely to find business traps), look for and find agreat partner and are ready to work hard towards achieving yourgoal, then you will have put all the chances for success on your side and youwill be on your way to an amazing and rewarding journey!

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About Article Author

Valerie Vauthey
Valerie Vauthey

Valerie Vauthey is the founder of and the president of the Silicon Valley Coachville Chapter. She brings long years of successful experience in the areas of Personal Coaching, Weight Loss, Financial Coaching, Time Management, Motivational Techniques and Behavioral Science.
She is a permanent guest on the acclaimed Good Life Show hosted by Jesse Dylan.

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