Have you ever partnered with a friend thinking that you could combine your efforts and really leverage your relationship to create more traffic, exposure and even more money in your pockets? But afterwards you felt like you got the raw end of the deal?
This happens all the time. I was talking to a close friend the other day about a “partnership” that she had recently entered into. At first glance, it seemed like a great deal because she was adding benefits to a program that she didn’t think she could offer herself and she got to partner with a really cool friend.
But afterwards, she felt like she was the one doing most of the work without the recognition or the benefits while still splitting the profits 50/50.
Can you relate?
Well, there are 5 steps that I recommend that all potential partners must discuss, come to an agreement and write down before making the “partnership” official.
Step 1: Know Your Purpose: What is the point of the partnership/JV? What do you want to create together? Know what you are doing and why so that you can stay on track. Otherwise, entrepreneurs often get caught up in the potential of what “could” happen if only….
Step 2: Who is the driver? Usually, people come together, brainstorm and create great ideas and think that everything is 50/50. But almost all the time, this is not the case. I strongly suggest that you decide who the driver is, and allow the others to be passengers. Even if the partnership feels even, you must decide who gets what in a worst-case scenario.
Step 3: Who is doing what? Know what everyone’s responsibilities are and be clear about what each person brings to the table. Lay out who is in charge of the creative, the promotions, setting up the event on Facebook, Tweeting, etc. Evaluate these items regarding before, during and after the event and/or promotion. Include what each person will do during the relationship: promotion, creation, expenses, etc.
Step 4: What’s the Win? Be clear about the win (motivator) for each participant. Remember that often the best JV’s are motivated by more than just money including list building, visibility, credibility and even “new pools of influence.” Note that these are the tools used to evaluate a successful partnership in the end.
Step 5: How will I be compensated? If the “win” for each partner is money, then who gets how much? But if the “win” is list-building, you must be clear from the beginning who will host the list, how/when it will be forwarded to the partner, etc. Whichever the “wins”, be clear about the compensation on all levels. Always compensate appropriately and respectfully.
Step 6: OK—so there’s one more step here and this is the most important one: Write it down. After you have had a conversation and made decisions together on each of these steps, write them all down. This is really the most important step since our memories are just not perfect. This also allows for confusion to be cleared up at the beginning of the relationship instead of the middle or the end.
There are so many great opportunities for all of us to connect and create wonderful collaborations for ourselves and for our collective audiences. And when you take these six simple steps at the beginning of a joint venture, partnership or any similar business relationship, you are sure to have great success, profitability and happiness together!
To access my Partnership/JV Agreement template, click here to download it now for free!