Fast track finance: Are joint-ventures underrated?

Paul Mizen
Sculpture 'Walking to the Sky' Looms Above Rockefeller Plaza
You are the master of your fate and the captain of your ship. (Source: Getty)

Many people dream of becoming their own boss, and with the gig economy taking centre-stage in modern business, it’s an entirely achievable reality.

Traditionally, there have been two ways of achieving this – you can either start small and work your way up, or use your hard-earned savings to buy your way there (in the form of a franchise or similar). These options consume an enormous amount of time, energy, and money.

However, there is a third way to reach the top, and – most importantly – stay there.

The solution

The third way is starting a joint-venture: a business entity created by two or more parties.

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The trouble with joint-ventures is that many people don’t even consider it to be an option, thinking that it is a strategy for big businesses, such as Sony Ericsson, where expertise between two enterprises is shared in order to break into new markets.

However, the reality is that joint-ventures work very well on a much smaller scale too.

So if you’re a one-man band or looking to build a business empire, this strategy can put you at an unrivalled advantage, and give you the best chance of building a bigger business more quickly.

A decade in a day

We all know that anyone can start a business these days, but what is often lacking is an understanding of what it takes to grow and scale a business to a tangible size.

This is where a joint-venture can really help.

In essence, it is about two parties with different skills uniting to reduce the risks that new enterprises bring, and improve the chances of success.

“A decade in a day” describes what this model offers, because it provides immediate access to an experienced team, who can apply years of experience, knowledge, and resources in 24 hours – which is extremely valuable to a first-time solo entrepreneur.

Jumping over pitfalls

The best part of being involved in a joint-venture is that you can partner with someone who has been through all the pitfalls, and dealt with suppliers, standards, training, and software.

The model hands to you the resources you need to succeed. You are the master of your fate and the captain of your ship. You can create a successful business.

No regrets

Having helped to launch and grow over 43 joint-ventures during my career to date, I often hear that one of the biggest regrets of entrepreneurs is that they didn’t have the courage to go out and start their business earlier, because they feared failure.

Developing a business from scratch can take years, and other factors can make this even more complicated, such as dynamic industry shifts in the way people consume a particular product or service.

Utilising the joint-venture model to get a business off the ground and fully operational quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively is a sure-fire way to avoid the regret in years to come of never pressing ‘go’ on your business.

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