By Breanna Gunn
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road to walk. While so many of us are used to doing it all ourselves, there are so many benefits from partnering up with one of our peers. And one of the best ways to utilize your network in a mutually beneficial way is joint ventures.
Your ideal joint venture partner is someone with the resources, skills, and assets to bring to the project that, in combination with yours, will make it successful. The whole idea is that two heads are better than one and you’ll each achieve more together than you would alone.
Plus, it’s fun to have someone to bounce ideas off of and complain to when things get a little rough.
Not sure where to find a business partner? Here are a few places to start looking.
Your Existing Contacts
Start with people you already know and do business with. Look at your existing clients, suppliers, and past business partners. The advantage here is that you don’t need to vet them. You already have a history together and you should have a good idea of their strengths and resources.
Next, look at people in your network who you haven’t done business with before. A joint venture is an excellent opportunity to build a relationship with a new person you’ve met and want to get to know better. You may have made contacts through networking that you’d benefit from getting to know better.
If you don’t have an existing contact to form a JV with, you can search for people online. One simple way to do this is to perform a Google search using keywords related to the type of skills or resources you need. Use a keyword tool to help you refine your search.
Social media offers another great way to search online. Look at who your network knows and follows. Search for influencers who are active on social media and have a highly engaged following. See what topics are trending in your niche and who’s talking about it.
A good place to find experts in your field is industry newsletters. These can either be online email newsletters or offline ones. Look for people who are writing, speaking, or advertising in these publications. You can also start doing research as you look for people by seeing what they write about.
One highly effective offline method is to attend trade shows. A trade show is where a large number of industry professionals gather and present their current business projects. People also come here to network, so it’s a great venue to meet new people, find out about them, and even pitch your JV ideas.
Create A List & Narrow It Down
The best way to find an ideal JV partner is to make a big list of possibilities and research each person to narrow it down. Look at the assets, abilities, and resources they can bring. When researching potential partners, it’s important to also look at their online reputation. You may find out something important.
Once you have a few candidates, reach out to them with your proposal. It takes a little courage to submit that kind of request, but finding a quality JV partner can make all the difference in your business.