A joint venture (JV) is the entity created when two businesses join

By: rajpal175

A joint venture (JV) is the entity created when two businesses join in a partnership for specific, often strategic, reasons. JVs can be a fantastic way for small businesses to increase their customer bases, and for businesses to share their skill sets to offer new or better products and services. However, in order for a JV to be successful, it's essential for both parties to take the agreement very seriously and do all of the homework involved.

A joint venture entered into without research or caution is setting itself up for failure. If both parties don't take the process seriously they could lose valuable time and money, or worse destroy their business. To avoid these pitfalls, there are several things one can consider: choose your partner carefully, make sure you share a common goal and above all, stay organized.

The choice of partner is the most vital part of starting a JV. You should know the person well enough to have confidence in them and to know whether they are trustworthy. There are plenty of fast talkers out there who are eager to separate a fool from his money. As with everything else in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

It's best to find out as much as you can about any partner candidates you're considering. Look up information about them online and ask them for references and a detailed resume.

While it's important that you know your business partner well, it may also be a bad thing to know them too well. Joint ventures with family members or close friends may not be wise. For one thing, if things go bad, you run the risk of losing your business and your personal relationship. In addition, because you know the person so well, you may be tempted to skip important steps, like creating a business plan and drawing up a formal agreement. As a result, in the end, you may find that you didn't have the same goals or understanding at all.

You'll want to look for a good balance in a partner -- someone you know well enough to trust, but not so well that your personal relationship will get in the way. Your partner should possess a skill set that will compliment your own. For example, perhaps you're really great at marketing products, but you lack organizational skills. Look for a partner whose organizational skills can make up for your shortcomings and who, perhaps, needs assistance with marketing.

Determining that both you and your JV partner share a common vision is another important aspect. To reach a particular goal together, you must both know what the goal is and understand how you're going to get there. If your partner believes the goal of the JV is to grow the business to a very large one, and you believe the goal is to keep the business small so you can run it on the side, you're not very likely to work well together. You can't possibly reach both your and your partner's goals because they conflict!

Good organization can help ensure that your and your partner's visions match. To begin, create a business plan that clearly defines what you want to achieve and when you expect to achieve it. The plan also explains who will bring which assets and skills to the table.

Along with a clear business plan, it's important to draw up a binding contract that outlines the legal details of your JV. This agreement will articulate the legal responsibilities of each party.

In order to establish a successful joint venture, it's necessary to exercise self-control and time-management. Don't try to do too much all at once. Starting a new venture takes time and effort. At first, you most likely will not be able to focus on two projects at once. Before starting a new business venture, make sure you have the time and space in your life to properly focus on your new efforts.

With a good partnership, common goals and excellent organization, a joint venture can be just the thing to increase your fledgling company's size, offerings, technologies and skills. Taking the time to do your homework and learn as much as you can about the process can make the joint venture work for you as hard as you are working for it.

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