If you’re thinking of starting a joint venture, it’s important that you are aware of the pros and cons of this type of business. After all, it’s impossible to make an informed decision unless you know what you’re getting yourself into.
A joint venture is a great way to pool skills, resources or capital with another person or business to make your business idea work. However, you might find that a joint venture restricts your flexibility or brings a clash of cultures.
Weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of joint ventures is the best way to decide whether this is the right decision for your business. In this article, we’ll talk you through both the pros and the cons of joint ventures, helping you to make an informed choice.
What Is A Joint Venture?
Before we can consider the pros and cons of joint ventures, it’s important that you understand exactly what a joint venture is, and when this type of business arrangement might be used.
A joint venture, often abbreviated to JV, is a type of business arrangement where two or more individuals or businesses decide to pool their resources, capital or skills for a project or business idea.
Although a joint venture can be made up of two or more businesses, the venture is a separate entity and is not part of the contributing businesses.
Joint ventures can be set up with any legal structure, although the most common legal structures for a joint venture are a partnership or a limited company.
Advantages Of Joint Ventures
There are many benefits of putting your business idea into action through a joint venture, which is why this type of business arrangement is so popular. Let’s take a look at some of the key advantages of joint ventures.
1. Access To More Resources
When you form a joint venture, you gain access to resources such as skills, staff, equipment, technology and capital. This can help to increase the chances of success for your new project, as you have everything you need within the business.
2. Increased Knowledge And Experience
Every person and business has its own experiences and insights when it comes to the market. This means that pooling your resources with another business can bring new insights and knowledge that can help your business to succeed.
3. Shared Costs And Risk
With any new business idea, there are costs and risks of starting up, which you’ll need to weigh up carefully before taking the plunge. When you form a joint venture, you share these costs and risks with another person or business, limiting the impact on your own personal finances. This can make it easier to launch your new business idea, without so much worry.
4. Increased Chance Of Success
Launching your new business or project as a joint venture can help to increase your chances of success. This is because you benefit from shared resources and knowledge, as well as minimised risk. An increased chance of success means there’s a greater chance you’ll begin making money from your new idea!
5. Reduced Risk Of Mistakes
It’s easy to make a mistake when you’re launching a new business or project. Whether it’s rushing into something without full consideration or a risky marketing campaign, we’ve all made mistakes when it comes to business. Having another person to bounce ideas off means that you are less likely to make a mistake in your new business venture, as every decision will be carefully considered.
6. Wider Network
Every business owner has a network of connections. Starting a joint venture with another person or business means that you gain access to their unique network, so you’ll have more people to connect with to help your new business venture to succeed.
7. Expand Into Foreign Markets
Selling to international countries can be difficult, especially if there are restrictions in place regarding trading. Creating a joint venture with a local business in your target country can make it easier to begin trading in the country, giving you access to new customers and a readymade distribution network to tap into.
Disadvantages Of Joint Ventures
Although there are many benefits of forming a joint venture, it’s important to note that there are also several disadvantages to this type of business arrangement. By being aware of both the pros and cons of joint ventures, you can make an informed decision regarding the best way forward for your business idea.
Let’s take a look at some of the key disadvantages of joint ventures.
1. Reduced Flexibility
One of the best things about running your own business is that you can make key decisions about the best way forward without having to justify it to others. This means that you can easily change direction or alter your offering without needing to seek permission from anyone else.
In a joint venture, you will need to consider the perspective of your partner, meaning that your flexibility is restricted somewhat. If you want to change direction, you’ll need to discuss this with your partner first, reaching a decision together.
2. Potential For Culture Clashes
Every business and every individual has its own personality and its own way of doing things. When you bring together two businesses or two individuals, you are bringing together two distinct cultures which have the potential to clash. You’ll need to be mindful of this when considering integration and co-operation.
3. Equality Is Impossible
No matter how hard you try to keep your joint venture equal, it is virtually impossible to do so. This is because one partner will always end up putting more into the business, whether it’s capital, skills or resources. This can create an imbalance that can cause problems within the business if not addressed.
4. Challenges In Communication
Communication is essential in any joint venture. If objectives are not clear, it can be difficult for each partner to understand their responsibilities and exactly what they’re working towards. This can lead to delays in tasks being completed and eventually a complete breakdown in communication, putting the entire project at risk.
5. Your Own Business Might Suffer
Joint ventures demand time and resources. This could lead your own business to suffer, if you don’t have the time and resources to dedicate to both your business and your joint venture. It’s important that you ensure that you can commit enough resources to both businesses before deciding to embark on a joint venture.
6. Extensive Research Required
As with any new business venture, the success of a joint venture relies on extensive research being done. You’ll also need to take the time to properly plan out your joint venture, with roles and responsibilities assigned to each partner to ensure that tasks are completed on time and to a good standard to ensure the success of your project.
How To Succeed In Your Joint Venture
If you’ve weighed up both the pros and cons of joint ventures and decided that this is the right step forward for your business idea, you need to know exactly how to make a joint venture work. To help you along the way, we’ve put together some top tips for joint ventures, giving you the best possible chances of success in your new project.
1. Put A Written Agreement In Place
Before you start your joint venture, it’s important that you put a written agreement in place which sets out the roles and responsibilities of each member of the joint venture. This should set out exactly what each partner will contribute and when it will happen.
Your written agreement should also include how any disputes will be resolved, and what will happen to the business if one partner decides they no longer want to participate in the joint venture.
2. Create A Business Plan
Business plans are essential for any business, but they are even more important when it comes to a joint venture. Creating a business plan together will help to ensure that your visions are aligned, and that you know exactly what you can expect from each other. It will also help you to maintain focus on your objectives and the end goal.