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Monday, November 12, 2007

Joint ventures -- could work, but...

Our North Carolina publisher, Bob Kruhm, forwarded me the following link to this ENR blog posting, Leveraging Your Company's Capabilities, by Tricia Sallah. The writer includes a tale of a joint venture that went badly wrong. Of course the mistake wouldn't have happened without some forethought and planning.
Joint ventures in fact can create ideal marketing/business development opportunities for smaller businesses. The most common element where JVs work is where you have a geographical or specialist advantage. For example, you are the leading GC in a rural area and a major project requiring much expertise outside your normal scope comes your way. You could JV with an expert in the field. Conversely, of course, if you are the expert in a specialized area but don't have local contacts/connections, your chances of winning the project are much higher if you participate with a trusted partner.
How do you find solid JV partners? Here, associations like the Society for Marketing Professional Services can be very useful -- especially if you are involved, committed, and have built a network of connections over the years. Then, it is simply a matter of picking up the phone and calling the peer you know either within the specialist area or geographical region and you have confidence that all will work out well. Just don't rush into a joint venture arrangement until you have the right connections/confidence to validate the process.

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