If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too? One comic argues, “Probably so.”
And honestly, I kind of see his point.
Sure, the quote is intended to dissuade children from following an unfit crowd, but let’s face it, if the bridge is on fire, I’m outta there! And if all my friends seem to be enjoying themselves, I’ll probably give it a whirl.
The same is true for your business. Everyone else seems to be jumping on the joint venture bandwagon, so why shouldn’t you? Well, if we’re talking business opportunities, you should! If you’ve learned anything over the past several days, it’s that joint ventures are a nearly surefire way to gain access to new resources, different markets, and hyper growth. That is…as long as the partnership was well thought out and planned.
Last week’s blog featured the epitome of strategic alliances; Starbucks. But even the poster child for joint ventures has had their fair share of failure. In 1999, the coffee chain attempted to join forces with Time Magazine (and why not? They had experienced nothing but success when it came to their past partnerships–their options were seemingly endless!) and the two released a mini-mag they called “Joe Magazine.”
Starbucks poured a lot of money into the publication (pun intended) but Joe Magazine refused to grant them any ROI (despite the fact that it featured a scantily clad Homer Simpson on the cover). The magazine tanked and Starbucks was forced to take a big step back to figure out why. Aside from the fact that no one made the “Joe” connection, the magazine failed because Starbucks blindly leapt off the bridge, assuming they would land in a large pile of money, because that’s what had always happened before.
The moral of the story? Look before you leap!
Don’t engage in a joint venture just because everyone else is doing it; take the time to assess the situation before throwing yourself over the edge and (unless you’re a cat) never assume that you’ll automatically land on your feet.
If the partnership doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
In an ideal world, your joint venture partner will not only share your mission and values, but they’ll also have the complementary skills, resources, and innovations you need to boost your business to the next level.
With that in mind–go ahead, jump off the bridge! But don’t do it just because everyone else is, do it because you’re ready and willing to take the leap.