Joint Ventures = Savings + Greater Results – Part 1

I am a firm advocate of working together to achieve greater results, particularly when it comes to marketing your business. There are very few of us in the tourism industry that can truly say as standalone enterprise we can attract people to our city or region. It seems to clear to me, that to be successful as a business you have to be working towards the greater good, both locally, regionally and nationally.

In recent weeks, I have been working in developing core values in two separate businesses. In both I have been sure to add a value around the importance of understanding that working together with other organisations and enterprise is a major key to success.

In my role at St Clair Beach Resort, I work extremely hard to ensure the business does its bit in terms of supporting joint ventures through our regional tourism organisation as well as playing a central role in bringing together groups of businesses when we can all do better by joining forces.

One recent success, of which I am very proud, was the joint venture between St Clair Beach Resort and Wine Tours Otago which brought Daniel Davis, the very passionate founder of DineTube, to Dunedin. This joint venture resulted in Dunedin being the second city in New Zealand to be featured on this innovative site, after its home city of Auckland.

On this occasion, the deal worked in a way that the hotel provided accommodation, Wine Tours Otago provided flights and the two businesses clubbed together to cover other expenses. Through sharing the costs, we were able to facilitate a project that neither business would have funded alone.

Whilst, we undoubtedly, had the best interests of the primary businesses in mind, we were very much of the opinion that whilst Daniel and his team were here in Dunedin, the city’s food scene should get as much benefit as possible.  The results, which are starting to be released on to the site, now, not only include the videos about Pier 24 Restaurant, Swell Cafe and Wine Tours Otago, but also a number of other associated businesses in Dunedin too. The real icing on the cake for all involved, was the brilliant turn out at the ‘premiere’ event that we held on the last night of filming, seeing a restaurant full of the key players in the city’s food and tourism scene turn out to see the fruits of our labour!

In the coming weeks I will follow up with more ways that we work together with other businesses to help market our business in a cost effective way. For the mean time, enjoy the videos and hopefully I’ve whet your appetite to check back soon for more.

I hope you found this blog post useful and as always please feel free to leave your own experiences or any comments. Make sure you rate the blog so I know whether you found it helpful. If you did – retweet it, to share it with others.

See “a taste” of DineTube below…

One Comment

  1. John Owens March 31, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Hi James

    Thanks for an excellent post. Working together is a thing that many small businesses can have very mixed feelings about.
    It raises many questions in the minds of the potential partners, that can include:
    o Will there really be any benefits in it for me/us?
    o How much work will be involved? Who has to do it? Will I/we have time?
    o What will the costs be? How will these be apportioned? Will they cover the costs?
    o If there are benefits, how will these be share out? How much will I/we get? Will it be worth the effort?

    All of these are valid questions, but are borne out of fear. Fear of failure. Of financial loss. Loss of reputation. Loss of independence.

    These fears will be greatest where people are not used to working together and have no track record in successful joint ventures. They will also be a fear where a joint venture in the past has failed.

    Whenever joint ventures are suggested the predominant question in most people’s minds will be, “What if it fails?”

    This needs to be replaced with the question, “What if it succeeds?”

    All of the above questions should be answered, but start with, “What if it succeeds?” This will save a lot of time. If the answer to this question is not compelling enough to inspire those involved then the joint venture will be a waste of everybody’s time and should not be started.

    But you need to define what “success” means. Is it simply more money in the pockets of the joint venture partners? More visitors to the area? A happier community? A more educated and informed workforce?

    Once “success” is defined you can then define what needs to be done, who needs to do it and how much it will cost.
    Before you define who does what, ask, “Who has the skills to do this?” If the answer is, “nobody here” then you will need to get outside help.

    At the start of many joint ventures someone will pipe up, “We tried that but it failed!” When? “Twenty years ago”. Who tried it? “Can’t remember, but he ran away with all of the money and it failed”

    So avoid all future joint ventures? Hardly. But, if whoever ran away with the money twenty years ago is now back and volunteering the look after the money on this venture, I would suggest that you decline his/her offer.

    Regards
    John

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