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View Full Version : Advice for an offline JV



Ty Brown
07-26-2009, 12:42 AM
Hi there, brand new to the board. It seems very online related but I figure a bunch of marketing geniuses like are on this board could help me out.

I'm a dog trainer and I'm looking to set up a joint venture that would bring in additional leads and commissions. Let me tell you what I want to do so you can tell me the fatal flaws, tell me what I need to do differently, etc.

I want to set up a 'dog business' club of various dog related businesses that are complementary and non-competing. For example, my dog training business would be in, several dog groomers from various zones, dog kennels, etc.

Every business in the network would get membership cards that they would hand out to their clients. The cards would send people to a site that would get them discounts on preferred vendors in the network. The businesses would of course benefit because they would get in front of their target market by way of other complementary businesses. I would need the other members of the network to offer some good discounts or other incentives to make it a worthwhile network.

I want to benefit in two ways:
1- Getting my business out there through a network of complementary businesses giving away these cards.
2- Charging a 15% commission on new business brought by the network cards to these other businesses.

So, that is my idea. In running over this idea, though, I'm running across a few problems that I'm hoping I can find help with.
1- If a business is offering a discount through the network for new clients would they also be willing to pay me a commission?
2- Do you think there would be a good way to make sure I get 15% lifetime commissions on all new clients? Or perhaps commissions for a year?
3- I was thinking of making people print out something from the site in order to redeem the discount at the respective business. This wouldn't be a 100% tracking tool as some might print it out then not redeem it but it would help me keep businesses somewhat honest. Any other ideas for tracking and collecting?
4- What incentive could I provide to the businesses to actually hand out the cards? In theory they could get lazy, forgetful, or dishonest and not even hand them out while banking on the other businesses to hand them out and drive business their way? One way is to be selective in who I bring on, but any thoughts on making sure these cards get out there as much as possible?
5- Any other ideas that you see could help this become a profitable venture?

Thanks to everyone in advance!

Nathan Grimm
07-28-2009, 01:21 AM
I think it's great that you're using networking skills to try to grow your business. Sounds like, if you can get the other businesses to agree to it, that you could get a very lucrative, passive flow of income. GREAT thinking!

Let me try to address your questions one by one:

1- If a business is offering a discount through the network for new clients would they also be willing to pay me a commission?

That may be a little tough at first. You're going to have to prove to the businesses that there will be a profit in joining your dog business club. At first, you could offer to give them a free trial period. Maybe six months. Then, if they see an increase in business from your efforts, you can come to an agreement as to a commission for you. If they don't see any benefit, then they simply drop their membership and you just had six months of somebody getting your name out there.

Incidentally, after you're up and running, if you have your businesses track the benefits from your program, (or, better yet, you track it for them, as it will be your marketing efforts), you can then show potential new members the actual benefits from your club. However, I would keep the free trial period, just make it shorter, perhaps three months.

2- Do you think there would be a good way to make sure I get 15% lifetime commissions on all new clients? Or perhaps commissions for a year?

You simply need a tracking code specific to the business that the customer needs to use in order to track from which member the order came from.

3- I was thinking of making people print out something from the site in order to redeem the discount at the respective business. This wouldn't be a 100% tracking tool as some might print it out then not redeem it but it would help me keep businesses somewhat honest. Any other ideas for tracking and collecting?

Printing up a coupon is fine, but most people just don't do it. Trust me. I get a coupon every week from Borders and have yet to print it up and use it. I do use my Barnes and Noble card regularly. You can get plastic card printed cheaply enough or, if money is tight, you can get a laminator and do it yourself. (I'd recommend the plastic card with the person's individual number on it. I'll just look more official.)

4- What incentive could I provide to the businesses to actually hand out the cards? In theory they could get lazy, forgetful, or dishonest and not even hand them out while banking on the other businesses to hand them out and drive business their way? One way is to be selective in who I bring on, but any thoughts on making sure these cards get out there as much as possible?

I think that you need to target mom n pop type places. At least initially. get some stands at an office supply store and jsut ask them to set them out on the counter. On the cards, send them to a website and have them opt in. Make sure that you follow up and send the official card. Maybe the sample cards could have a number on it and on the opt in they can enter the number to get their specific card.

I hope these ideas help and I wish you the best of luck in your new venture.