My mission is to inspire leaders from international organizations to achieve the success in the collaborative business world they aspire: Inspire to Aspire. I deliver on my mission through a structured and engaging coaching process that guarantees improved results in leadership development, and by enabling best practices for consistently improved results with business collaborations like strategic alliances and partnerships.
Partnerships are about creating a win/win situation. Companies are in general open to partnering when you have to offer something that will allow them to win together with you in the market in an easier way than when they do it all alone.
From that perspective start with looking at the potential partners out there and define which one of them have the best fit with your company culture and product portfolio. Go for this low hanging fruit and approach those partners first. Decide if you will ask them to sign an NDA or not.
Partner selection and creating partnerships can be guarded by contracts but on the other hand trust is essential. If there is no fit and no trust then contracts won't help you to create a healthy relationship. Have a look at my 4-step guide to partner selection, it might be helpful: https://gumroad.com/l/cMyfD
Happy to jump on a call to dive deeper into this with you.
How do you currently run your 6 locations and maintain 100% secure that things are done properly? Those same procedures need to apply for a partnership. Personally I would not look for a franchise as it might be too heavy to run, but a partnership with the right chain might be helpful.
However it starts with the win-win question: what is it that you have to offer to your partner and what has your potential partner to offer to you that creates a win-win for both of you? Answer that question and every partnership conversation will become easier.
How things are done is part of the ongoing discussion and can be secured in a contract. As part of the partnership you can decide to license out your intellectual property or way of working that makes your gym unique.
There are many partnerships and strategic alliances created without sharing revenue. It starts with the value proposition and that one should contain a clear win/win/win: win for you, for your partner and for the customer. The partnership needs to leed to synergy, often the phrase 1+1=3 is used and thus the result of the partnership needs to be bigger than you and your partner can achieve alone.
My advise to customers is always to begin with the value proposition, from there create a clear needs/contributions/benefits matrix and use that for the conversation with your partner. It depends a bit on your business, but quite often when these are worked out well then there is no need for the business model to contain a revenue share model.
Feel free to schedule a call to take a deeper dive. As a business coach and certified strategic alliance professional it is my daily work to help companies create successful strategic alliances.
1) Focus and decide what to say No to: this will help you create time.
2) Hire only for specific tasks or projects through outsourcing. You can use tools like Elance.com to find the right people. In that case you will hire only when there is revenue involved. A good rule of thumb here is to hire for tasks where you can earn more than the contractor costs. Example: I just hired an audio editor for my upcoming podcast to edit the first episode. It took her 3,5 hours to do the editing. I could probably have done it myself, but it would have taken me way longer than 3,5 hours as it is not my speciality. Now I could be billable at the same time myself for a higher rate than the contractor costed.
Earlier this year I wrote a blogpost about my 7 lessons as entrepreneur. I had to think of that post w.r.t. your question. It is here: http://bit.ly/pjs-7lessons and might be helpful to you too.
If you like to go a bit deeper feel free to schedule a call with me.
This sounds as a deja vu to me. I have been in a similar situation back in 2000, we could only solve the issue thanks to a good mediator. However every situation is different and hence your route to a solution might be different. It also depends where you are in the world that defines how an email and/or verbal agreement might be a sufficient ground for legal actions. I am not a lawyer and can not judge that.
I have been in a similar situation with a client recently: a startup with a compelling software solution that needs a large partner to develop and bring it the market. We have done a partner selection together where we looked at strategy, value proposition for all parties (what is the win/win/win?) and evaluated the partners based on 18 criteria. The outcome was an eye opener and led to a great partnership.
Partner selection is the most important foundation for your future partnership, don't do it too lightly! The 3-way value proposition is essential for both partners to be of interest. There needs to be real benefit for both partners and for the end customer in the partnership. Based on what you write I can not judge yet if a barter deal is bringing sufficient benefits. Also do a solid assessment of your partner, beyond just the skills assessment.
We can go more in-depth in a call if you like.