According to Wikipedia, synergy is defined as “two or more things functioning together to produce a result not independently obtainable alone”. It comes from the Greek word synergia, which means “working together”.
There are only so many hours in a day, and only so far you can take your business before you start to burn out. That’s when you might want to think about partnering up for some added business synergy. If you’re a new company, with new products, you need to pay your dues a little and earn some ‘street cred’ before you start approaching others for a joint venture. Everyone will want to know that you’re trustworthy, and that your products do what they say they will first.
They’ll want to make sure you’re not a scammer, flake, or con artist. They’ll want to make sure you have more Facebook friends than just your mom and your best friend, and that you have a good understanding of how business works. In other words, their reputation is at stake. After all, they’ll be introducing you to their inner circle of a few hundred or a few hundred thousand buddies, and they don’t want to be embarrassed. So, make sure you’re ready.
I’ve spent the past year and a half putting together several great products. Everything I do is geared towards the entrepreneur in some way, even if it’s how to get a job the entrepreneurial way.
So, when I began doing the seminar “Create Your Own Job“, I realized I would need to find some good joint venture partners to create some synergy. The first people I called were people I had worked with before, who knew I would come through and not let them down. That means I not only have to have a good product, but I have to do everything possible to make us both money.
You can structure a joint venture any way you want. I figure it’s best to give up as much as possible, while still making it worth it. If you’re wondering what kind of deal to make yourself, it’s the one you can live with. I usually do a 50/50 split. Sometimes I can even include back of the room products. And I work hard for my 50%. But to me, the other person has something equally valuable, their fans, their list, their venue, etc.
You can always buy a list, but in the beginning it’s a lot of money to shell out. By working with someone else’s list you take the chance that you might do so well that they end up making more money than they would if you paid for advertising. But it’s not upfront. Cash flow in a business is everything. If you’re bootstrapping, (which is most of what I talk about here), you’ll want to be more creative about how you run your business. Be willing to offer as much as you can in exchange for a chance that you’ll both do well. Then commit to making it a win/win.
Reputations are earned. And some day you’ll be there too, if you’re not already.
So, remember this when you decide to partner up with someone. Have you paid your dues? Have you built your own business up on your own first? Do you provide good quality products and services? Have you earned someone’s trust? You’ll know when you get to that point. You’ll know when you’re ready. Start building business partnerships now so you can turbo charge your business synergy in the future.