Business is all about developing relationships and forming partnerships to get your business off the ground. A poorly planned joint venture is destined to fail from the very start. One way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to create an agreement that is aligned with the goals of your JV.
Reciprocity is very simple. If you’re good to your partner and create revenue for them, they’ll want to reciprocate. The referral mechanism for a reciprocal agreement could be as easy as displaying your partner’s business cards or adding its logo to your marketing materials. You’re basically saying you give your partner’s company the stamp of approval. Think about how your pediatrician can recommend a good nutritionist for your kids, or how many Wal-Mart locations have a McDonald’s inside the store; this is reciprocity at work.
In mid-July, American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia were finally able to announce their joint venture. The European Commission had approved their partnership which allowed them to expand their code sharing. The companies were able to sell their partners’ flights under their own name and flight number. This venture gives American Airlines more cities to sell flights to and from Europe. British Airways and Iberia would be able to use American Airlines extensive network in Canada, Mexico, the United States and South America. This is an example of a multi-national company successfully designing a reciprocal relationship that should fit the needs of both organizations. However, small local companies can do the same.
Profit sharing also means risk sharing. When you decide to choose a profit sharing joint venture, you’re also agreeing to share half the risk and half the potential losses. To avoid confusion the contract must clearly state that both companies are equal partners. All profits, risks and loses are shared equally between you and your JV partners.
Delta Airlines and Air France/KLM put together a $ 12 million per year profit-sharing venture which would allow the companies to become a single carrier on North Atlantic routes. This offer also extends to a previous venture between Northwest and KLM which has been in place since 1997. This is the most advanced model of successful international of airline cooperation. The benefit to customers and the businesses are paramount. Where can you form a JV marketing agreement with a local partner that will answer the needs of your customers?
The Best of Both Worlds
Recently SkyWest and Virgin Blue Group signed a 10-year joint venture agreement which will provide Australia with up to 18 Virgin Blue-branded aircraft. This venture makes it possible for SkyWest and Virgin Blue to operate at a number of existing and new destinations in Australia.
If both reciprocal and profit-sharing agreements seem like a good option for your business, you’re in luck because a joint venture marketing agreement is completely customizable. All you have to do is put what you want in writing to be presented to your potential partner at negotiations. You may have to make some compromises, but that’s the case in most business partnerships.
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