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Use Joint Ventures to Grow your Business

     So let's talk about "joint venturing". The term sounds daunting like it is reserved to people who are already at the top, but that isn't at all the case: a joint venture is simply two companies working together to increase the value they provide to their customers.

  Let me give you an example of a simple joint venture that I just setup which required about 1hr of my time.

  When I initially setup my website, I did a pretty thorough review of webhosting companies. I went with a big company that advertised all of the things that I knew I wanted in a webhost. After a few weeks of hassles, I realized that they were too big to deliver high quality service, so I revised my search criteria & starting looking at smaller companies.

  I fell upon a small webhosting company & really liked what I saw when I reviewed what they had to offer. So I setup an account with them & got up & running.

  Over the next few months & had to contact several times to request help on various issues. I always got prompt & very helpful service.

  So one day I was thinking about how others would benefit from my search for a great webhost & I decided to write up a recommendation for I also started to do the math on the lifetime value of each customer who signs-up with fastwebsites thanks to my recommendation.

  I figured why not email them & ask them if they would be willing to give me an incentive for any subscriber who signs up.

  Here's what they had to say:
  "Ok we will offer you 1 months hosting fee for any clients you refer. We will add a referrer entry in the referrer drop down menu on he order page. You must let your customers know to choose you as the referrer. If this is satisfactory, let us know what the entry for your name will be and we will add it to the order page.

  So for no money & less than a few hours work, I am getting a check from fastwebsites for every subscriber who signs-up with them.

  It is no hassle for me because I was going to recommend them anyhow. It is good for fastwebsites because they get new customers. And it is good for my customers because they get access to a great webhost without having to take a shot in the dark. Everybody wins!!!

  And the possibilities are endless. As long as the joint venture brings added value to both you & your customers, then it is probably a good idea. Careful though - don't ever send out misleading or useless info to your customers even when the joint venture payoff appears to be good - that is a quick way to kill your business.

  So when you see a mutual benefit from collaborating with another company, go for it. One word of caution though: most e-companies are inundated with JV offers. In order to make your stand out, you should:

  => clearly illustrate the benefits to your JV partner
  => cover the details - leave no unanswered questions

  Email is one way to approach a JV partner, but it will likely get turfed by whoever handles it. If you want to get results, call the company & get the number of the person in charge of the area that relates to your proposal. Start at the top of the chain & work your way down...