Partnerships and Joint Ventures: Short and Long-Term Ways to Run a Business

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Pete Williams defines joint ventures in the business sense as being a coming together of a particular idea, project, or venture. What sets joint ventures apart from partnerships is that joint venture projects are usually shorter in length. He defines partnerships as the creation of a business or a sustainable ongoing concern that is worked on together by multiple parties.

Individuals and businesses that are seeking a way to market a new product to the world just for the sake of getting it out there and having some media presence may find it in their best interests to create a joint venture. If the product or service takes off and looks like it has a promising future, a partnership can then be formed. This is what Williams and co-host Dom Goucher talk about in the PreneurCast podcast episode 'Partnerships and Joint Ventures.'

The benefits of running a partnership in today's online automated world is that many online marketers, product designers, and inventors have the requisite skills to bring their goods to the market, but just do not have the know-how to properly market their product. In terms of forming a joint venture, one should always look to partner up with a marketing genius—or if they happen to be a marketing genius, to team up with someone who can help tweak their product or service into the best possible format. Partnerships and joint ventures should always be an amalgamation of individuals whose strengths lie in a variety of areas.

Joint ventures differ from partnerships in that unlike partnerships, which can last for years with no end in sight, joint ventures have a clearly delineated end in sight. There is a visible outcome. A business might have a particular product that they need to have marketed and contact a marketing expert to help them create a new advertising campaign. Once the campaign is over, the joint venture has served its purpose. Joint ventures are a good bootstrapping technique in that they allow a business or an individual to market their product from scratch; their joint venture partner in the marketing field can give them the boost that they need to be exposed to the public.

Goucher emphasizes the importance of playing to one's strengths. If a business owner's strengths tend more towards the marketing side of business, they should stick with it and find someone else like a product engineer who can tailor their product to consumers.

One aspect of creating a joint venture or a partnership that Williams believes is completely overlooked is the fact that one should not go into business with their friends. “A lot of people—myself included—have gone into business or projects with somebody whose skills are the same as mine and we were friends and we thought that would be a really cool thing to do, yet what we found out is the business still lacks the other side of the coin.” This can sometimes be a tough pill to swallow, but both Goucher and Williams agree that it is for the best. When the parties involved in a partnership or joint venture lack complementary skills, it can be a recipe for disaster.

Joint ventures and partnerships can be incredibly beneficial to both businesses and individual entrepreneurs looking to take a new product to the market or improve upon an already-existing service. Before deciding which way is best, PreneurCast advises its listeners to weigh the pros and cons of each and keep in mind the importance of finding someone who has a complementary skill set.

PreneurCast is a marketing podcast covering entrepreneurship, marketing and business growth, hosted by award-winning entrepreneur and author Pete Williams and digital media creator Dom Goucher. It debuted on iTunes’ New & Noteworthy, and has consistently been featured in the business category’s What’s Hot and Top Podcasts sections around the globe. Visit the show's website at to listen to the entire 'Partnerships and Joint Ventures' episode, get the show notes and download the transcript.

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