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The Joint Venture Conundrum

Ritchie Clapson, of PropertyCEO, comments

A problem shared is a problem halved, or so the maxim has it. And to be fair, there's plenty of truth in it. Sharing our worries or woes with a friend or partner can miraculously diminish the scale of our challenges and make the world seem a much brighter place. True, we may not have solved anything, but in sharing the pain, we get the impression we've somehow shared the burden too.

In business, the mantra holds equally true. The challenges of commercial life, particularly for the entrepreneur, can be daunting, and in many instances, it can be a case of sink or swim. Survival, in financial terms, rests entirely on one pair of shoulders. And discussing these challenges with others can have multiple benefits. We can let off steam and get another person's perspective. Plus, we can gain greater clarity by hearing ourselves verbalise our problems to an audience.

But of course, while having a conversation can be cathartic, the problems and challenges stay firmly rooted in our own backyard. No amount of tea and sympathy is going to shift the workload,
no matter how understanding or well-intentioned the audience. Which is why, not unreasonably, people have a very natural inclination to want more than just a friendly ear to sound off to. No, what makes a real-world difference is having a real-life business partner. Someone with an equal stake in the venture's outcome, with whom every burden can be equally shared, and every success celebrated.

To some extent, the mere presence of a business partner, whatever their pedigree, can be a real weight off your mind. Suddenly it's not all down to you; it's also down to them. You can discuss things, chew the fat, mull over problems together – and, of course, get another, often very different perspective on the world. After all, you don't have the monopoly on good ideas, and
two heads are often better than one. Better still, if your business partner has complementary talents to your own, you can really get motoring. You may even become greater than the sum of your collective parts. Now wouldn't that be something? And often, working with someone else can also be a lot more fun.

Not surprisingly, then, the prospect of entering into a joint venture arrangement can look enticingly attractive for many people, particularly when they're faced with a giant leap out of their comfort zone. And property investment is no exception, especially when it comes to development. As someone who has trained and worked with many new and experienced developers over the last 40 or so years, I can vouch that many see joint venture partnerships as their best way of moving forward.

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