by Habiba Abubakar
So how do you go about finding joint venture partners? The first question you should ask yourself is this: “Who already has influence and credibility with my target market?”
In answering this question, the best place to start is with “warm” contacts. Warm contacts are your existing network of friends, mentors, business associates and suppliers. It’s the best place to start because it’s easier to persuade someone you already have a relationship with to participate in a joint venture with you.
But what do you do if no one in your network is suitable? Then, you’ll have to work with “cold” contacts. In other words, you’ll have to go out and find partners.
Whether you’re partnering with warm contacts or cold contacts, there are common places and instances where you can network and build relationships that can lead to profitable joint ventures.
Here are some of those places and instances where you’ll find potential partners who have influence and credibility with your target market:
1. Seminars and Workshops
Seminars and workshops are the number 1 place for finding potential joint venture partners. This is because of the feast of networking opportunities provided by such events. Often, these type of events last for up to three days. This gives you a chance to make strong connections with the other delegates. You’ll also find that people who pay good money to attend seminars are often those who are serious about growing their business.
2. Trade Shows and Exhibitions
Sometimes, it can be more worthwhile to work the floor at trade shows and exhibitions, rather than having a booth. Why? Because you get to meet potential joint venture partners that may not necessarily visit your booth.
3. Membership Associations
Most membership associations provide a directory which lists all the members of that association. The directory usually provides the business name, web site and contact details of members. Some membership associations also host monthly or quarterly events which make a great platform for networking.
4. Through your business associates and suppliers
Introductions from people in your network is a very effective way of meeting potential joint venture partners. You’re likely to instantly trust a person you’ve just been introduced to, if the introduction is made by someone you respect and trust i.e. your business associate. This method of finding potential joint venture partners is a sort of third party endorsement that turns a “cold” contact into a “lukewarm” contact.
5. Participate in online discussion groups and forums within your industry
Here, you’ll find experts who are respected by your target market (and are therefore potential joint venture partners), giving advice by answering questions asked by forum members. Online discussion groups and forums are also good places to find out what your target market’s opinion or impression is, about potential joint venture partners. This will help you decide whether you want to be associated with the potential partner in question.
6. Subscribe to online and offline publications that serve your target market
Magazines, newsletters and newspapers often publish articles written by industry experts who target the same market as you. Sometimes, these publications also publish “success profile” type of stories about certain industry experts. Those industry experts could be your next joint venture partners.
Once you’ve made a list of potential joint venture partners, you need to examine their character, business ethics, and customer service standards. You must also review their products and services. These factors will help you determine whether they are really a good match for your business, and whether you’d like to be associated with them. If so, then go ahead and get the ball rolling.
Copyright © 2005 by Habiba Abubakar and Emprez. All rights reserved.
Habiba Abubakar, a.k.a. The Profit Diva, specializes in helping small business owners who are struggling to increase their client base, and are tired of earning mediocre profits. Get your copy of her FREE 7-part mini eCourse, “The Easiest Way To Skyrocket Your Profits In 90 Days Or Less,” when you subscribe to her FREE business-building newsletter at http://www.profitdiva.com