There is an African proverb, “If you want to go quickly go alone, but if you want to go far go together.” In business, often two heads are better than one. Many small businesses enter into partnerships to gain value and the benefits of someone else. One person might have the technical know how and the other partner might have financial resources and a great network. A partnership is when two or more individuals enter into a collaboration to build a business by bringing more value to their end customer while reducing their financial risks.
Though despite a strong commitment to the partnership many of them fail, but some of these fatal and economic failures can be prevented. Partnerships, like most personal relationships, are not easy. They are built on trust, business philosophy and making sure everyone agrees on the expected economic outcome. To be successful in a partnership you need to understand the human agenda and primitive drivers of all parties. When you combine this with the organizational approach to the business, you’re much better equipped tor understand the reasons behind it’s success or failure. Many partnerships do not end on a happy note. Businesses dissolve due to poor communication, frustration, misunderstandings, and a lack of transparency, especially on financial issues. Many companies do not have documented processes and systems in place for HR, marketing, and operations, which is essential to keep the roles of each partner clear and to achieve maximum financial gain.
When you enter into a partnership. It is important to understand that, each party has its own agenda, purposes, desires and expectations for the partnership. Each party should be open and honest prior to going into business together, otherwise ‘hidden agendas’ can result in conflicts.
Below are the 7 key traits to look for prior to forming a business partnership.
- Commitment – Make sure you understand the commitment level of a potential partner. Strong business relationships don’t require all partners to invest equal amounts of time , money or energy, but it’s important to set expectations at the very beginning of business partnership to clarify what everyone’s commitment will be so that you know the partnership is not one-sided.
- Chemistry– The chemistry between the people who are the leaders of the business is critical. There mist be mutual respect in order for it to be a good match. Positive energy is key on all ends.
- Goals–- It should be made entirely clear to all parties what the purpose and financial goals of the partnership is – there must be a strategic fit between them.
- Rewards–- Each partner who is involved in the business should experience a reward for nurturing the business and bringing in business. But financial rewards need to be agreed on before hand. It will It is a very bad foundation for the partnership if information and knowledge is held back. Especially, if you have your own goals that are not shared with your partner.
- Patience — This will be the source of conflicts in the business. Big results often take time. Each party must learn how to work together, and trust must be built between all parties. Trust takes time. So, don’t give up when big results do not appear from your business right away.
- Be a good match — Big egos are not helpful in partnerships. You will need to always make decisions based on what’s best for the business. Problems appear when there is are hidden agendas and lack of transparency. When entering into a partnership, all parties must be headed in the same direction and at matching speeds. Too many have tried to save each other by having the stronger one take care of the weaker and often less committed one. That rarely works out well. There must be equality in the partnership.
- Be honest — Create a method for communication so that each partners is motivated to share knowledge. Be honest about the things that turn out well and the ones that turn out bad. Discuss your mistakes so that both parties may learn from them and find resolutions to solve them.
Having a partner in your business can be a good way to grow if roles are clearly defined, both are committed and the business philosophies are the same. You need a common goal and complimentary strengths to make it work.
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