When we started out, in the early days of Dorsetweb, we were approached many times to become partners in schemes and ideas that individuals had thought up who were keen to get involved in the nascent world of e-business. They had exciting proposals for prospective business models but lacked the necessary understanding of how e-businesses function.
Many of these individuals lacked the capital to fund e-commerce websites upfront. They needed the time to set up and grow their business without the crippling outlays needed for e-business start-ups. It was then that we devised the partnership approach. The idea was to help the client put together a business plan on the basis of offering reduced costs and staggered repayments in return for shares or target driven commission. In other words, if their business were to achieve a set target, then we would receive a percentage commission on the profit.
Unlike many web companies who charge 50% upfront, our partnership approach gives clients time to grow their businesses instead of losing the lifeline of valuable capital. The scheme is tailored to the client's needs and circumstances, in the same way as a business partnership offers mutual interest, support and understanding. Some clients, for example, can build and host a website but need ongoing SEO services and e-business management support to get them of the ground in the competitive world of e-commerce.
Some of the partnerships went on to be extremely successful and therefore we will always endeavour to consider any working relationship that allows a client to start their business at little expense, in return for shareholding, commission on sale, or future shares of their business.