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4.1 Choosing the right joint venture partner

 

The ideal partner in a joint venture is one that has resources, skills and assets that complement your own. The joint venture has to work contractually, but there should also be a good fit between the cultures of the two organisations.

A good starting place is to assess the suitability of existing customers and suppliers that you already have a long-term relationship with. You could also think about your competitors or other professional associates. Broadly, you need to consider the following:

  • How well do they perform?
  • What is their attitude to collaboration and do they share your level of commitment?
  • Do you share the same business objectives?
  • Can you trust them?
  • Do their brand values complement yours?
  • What kind of reputation do they have?
  • If you opt to assess a new potential partner, you need to carry out some basic checks:

  • Are they financially secure?
  • Do they have any credit problems?
  • Do they already have joint venture partnerships with other businesses?
  • What kind of management team do they have in place?
  • How are they performing in terms of production, marketing and workforce?
  • What do their customers and suppliers say about their trustworthiness and reputation?
  • Before you consider signing up to a joint venture, it’s important to protect your own interests. This should include drawing up legal documents to protect your own trade secrets and finding out whether your potential partner holds intellectual property rights agreements. Also, it’s worth checking to see whether they have other agreements in place, either with their employees or consultants.

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