Friday, December 18, 2009

Collaborations and partnerships : an efficient way to grow

From the beginning of my blogging career I had a friend, Bittu, who was also my advisor and partner, who was the main reason I decided to earn money online, I got to know that I could make money online just because of him. After a lot of talk we decided to create our first blog. He was an expert in design and development and i was really good at content, promotion and marketing, so we decided to share the profits and do equal work.

This was really beneficial to both of us, i could never have built a site with a great design and he could never have written awesome content and done the expert promotion and most of all its really much easier and fun if your doing it with friends. When we lost our first blog we both were equally depressed, we had no money left and both of our parents weren't ready to fund us, both of us gave each other an hand out and we started this blog on blogspot.

In the legal way its seen as a joint venture, which means two or more individuals or entities  contribute equity, resources, share profits, expenses and administration. As for a blogger its not necessary to legalize everything, but when your about to do with a total stranger it is essential.

It is not really necessary to collaborate for only building sites, it can be done for many things such as contests, research, content development and promotional programs.

Set up goals and rules
You'll have to make sure everyone in that partnership is getting equal returns for their investment, especially when your investing something other than money. I and Bittu made sure we have equal returns, and even if we did get unequal returns, we used to never mind. So just sit with a pen and paper and start making rules which everyone should agree.

Legalize things
Even if you and your partner have a very good understanding between each other, it is good to hire a lawyer and start legalizing stuff. It is just to make sure none of your partners break any rules you have made before. If your entering a partnership with someone you don't know, then this is mandatory. Maybe your lawyer may list some tax and national advantages you may have by entering into a type of partnership, there are tax exemptions which can be claimed in India.

Arguing is good
There are lots of chances that you and your partner may not have the same thoughts, ideas or knowledge, which can lead to a lot of arguments. There wasn't a day when me and Bittu didn't argue, but still we remained good friends. Whenever the situation gets hot, try to get someone else in and decide an end to your problem, besides, arguing is good as its always better if more people sit together and decide the future of your business.

Do not loose control 
When your partnership includes transfer of assets, money and power, there are chances you may end up loosing control of your blog. While legalizing you'll have to make sure that you have no chances of loosing control. If this happens, the blog which you built for years with sweat and hard work is all just a name.

Make sure you aren't exploited
Everyday there are many people looking for exploiting newbie entrepreneurs, trying to put the burden all expenses on your head and maximize their profits. Make sure you have a proper plan of partnership, study the entire plan and make sure you understand the proper flow of cash and inflows, try to spot anything that may sound suspicious and immediately consult your accountant or banker.

Keep in constant contact
I and Bittu were lucky, as we stayed near by and we also went to the same school, so we constantly met in our houses, during break time in school and in our bus.We always spoke about new strategies and future plans. This constant contact made our networks growth even faster. You can use mails to pitch your partners the latest in your business and earnings and other stuff.

Be free to leave
Once you feel that the partnership was no longer profitable or beneficial there should be no obligations in getting out of it. Neither you or your partners should face any legal or personal obligations while being part of it or leaving it. Make sure it doesn't become a burden on your blog.


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