We get asked this question a lot. There are many answers, but today I will use one area as an example. I’ll talk about joint ventures. First…what is a joint venture? It’s when you partner up with someone in a formal way to make money together. Sometimes these partnering opportunities can happen at a networking event over drinks. At least, you and your potential partner can come up with an idea of how to make money at the networking event…but now you have to take that idea and turn it into an actual business venture. An attorney can turn those scribbled ideas on a cocktail napkin into a deal by acting as your deal-sherpa.
Wait, wait. Can you make money with a joint venture without an attorney? Sure. I’m sure that many of you have. BUT how many would-be deals have fallen through? And with the right help, how much money could you have made on those deals? Enough to make it worthwhile to invest in a deal sherpa. There are a lot of reasons joint venture deals, that should have worked out, don’t work out. Having an advisor who is removed from the situation can help you see the potential pitfalls and plan for them.
One reason a joint venture deal doesn’t work out is the people involved are not on the same page. You say this, she says that, he says this…and everybody means something different. You go promote to your client list, I’ll promote to my list. You do this. I’ll do this. Then you go back and don’t do anything because you have all this uncertainty. You don’t know for sure that the other person will follow through or if it was just a networking event-induced business frenzy with no follow through. You do not feel comfortable going out on a limb for this person.
So the deal fizzles out and nothing comes of it. Instead, if you had a trusted advisor to tell this business deal about while you do all of your follow up from the live event, that advisor could draw up a simple contract where everybody makes money together. A lawyer who knows your business and knows your industry will have an easier time moving the deal forward with less hand-holding.
Once everybody feels comfortable, then they are willing to go out on a limb and know its not going to fall out from under them. Putting the deal in writing helps to demonstrate your commitment to your partners and demonstrates that you expect the other person to do the same. Best part of it is that you will be able to keep getting clients and coming up with more ideas when you have a deal sherpa by your side. They’ll do most of the work that you probably find less interesting.
The deal needs somebody who can shepherd it from conception to reality. More successful deals equals more revenue for your business.
Do you have somebody on your team who helps make deals happen?