If you wanted to find great business partners and secure game-changing collaborators you need to do four or five things consistently.
I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been in business with my business partner Mark Homer for over 15 years. Now, we’re very different but we share a similar vision and similar goals and ultimately he’s got my back and I’ve got his.
Over our 15 years together we’ve been through thick and thin and a lot of ups and downs. Some good, some bad and some easy and some hard. But consistently we’re there all the time for each other which has meant that we’ve stayed together for so long and achieved a lot of success.
One key factor to success is that because we’re so different in what we do, we don’t get in each other’s way. We don’t clash, I’m not doing what he’s doing. It’s important to remember, if two of you do the same thing, one of you isn’t needed. I let him crack on, he lets me crack on and together we bring equal value in different areas. And that’s sustainable and scalable. Success in business is actually way harder alone and in a way, less fun also.
Now, when it comes to partnerships and collaborations I was somewhat fortunate because Mark and I met at my very first property networking event in 2005. He’s technical, analytical, sceptical, careful, considered, realistic, planned, measured, legal, thoughtful and operational. But I’m strategic, a dreamer and a fantasist. I’m a big picture thinker, a player and as a result, I’m always in the future more than I am in the present. I’m more sales, marketing and personal brand, He’s more technical, operational and into the logistics, deal sourcing and management of projects.
The first thing to remember when finding people to JV or Joint Venture with is you’ve got to be very clear on what you want from your partner and what you want them to be within the partnership. So first, identify your skills so that you can seek out someone different to you who can bring complementary skills and resources. Because if 2 people do the same thing in a joint-venture, one isn’t needed. But you do need to have a similar vision of what you want to achieve, similar goals and desires, but with very different skillsets.
Mark and I have agreed to joint-venture with numerous other people because we love to partner with people who can give us more knowledge and more experience in a particular area. We haven’t met somebody who we could co-invest with just yet though. As the saying goes; No man is an island and everybody needs to reach out there and JV with people.
Secondly, you have to be clear on what you’re going to offer and what you need from a potential partner. Ask yourself, are you offering just borrowing money? Are you offering to set up a business together? Are you offering a 50-50 partnership on everything? What’s the commercial arrangement that you’re looking for? Are you just looking for a silent financier?
Once you’ve decided what you need it’s time to start going to the relevant online and face-to-face events where those people are likely to be. Potential partners are likely to be at high-end gyms in your city, they’re likely to be in Clubhouse rooms and Facebook AudioRooms and the Progressive Property Facebook Groups. Typically you can find them at property networking, business and charity events in London. You can even find them through friends of friends, private clubs and mentoring groups. It’s just about putting yourself out there and soon enough you’ll meet the right kind of people.
Next, once you’ve found a partner you get to know them. Don’t tell them all of your plans right away, otherwise, they will change the way they act, and they’ll be a bit more salesy. The aim is to watch them for a few months and check their value, behaviours, ethics and their morals. Then it’s time for you to do a test deal with them. One deal, one partnership, one project to see how it goes. This is the dating before the marriage, then and only then, if it goes well, you can have a more official arrangement.