Finding a business partner can be a difficult endeavor but after you find the right person, developing a successful partnership is the next challenge. It’s no secret that partnerships could result in failure, but then again – just look at Ben and Jerry! Fundamental ideas around communication, balance and a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties are what help to build and sustain a bond, as long-lasting and lucrative of a partnership as the acclaimed ice cream duo. Here are some thoughtful ideas to keep in mind when entering into a business partnership.
- Complement Each Other’s Skill Sets. There’s a reason why you’re not doing this on your own – something’s missing. Perhaps you are lacking a certain type of experience, or maybe you don’t have a large enough network. Maybe you are the company’s visionary, while your partner is more in tune with the finer details of the business. Before entering a business partnership, it’s important to identify your weaknesses – whether you lack sales skills, marketing skills, financial background, etc. This way, you are aware of how your skills and your partner’s can complement one another, and make sure the business is well-rounded in its leadership.
- Share Your Vision. Starting a business requires you to have an executable vision, but bringing in a partner means you need to share that vision. It’s likely that the vision will change, so be flexible and open to hearing your partner’s ideas or feedback. Agreeing on what you both hope to achieve will set the stage for successful collaboration down the road – and make it easier to course correct, should you need to adjust the original vision.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! As with any relationship, open and frequent communication is essential to its ultimate success. Be a respectful listener, share ideas, outline clear responsibilities and always ask questions. To make sure you and your partner remain on the same page, set up recurring meetings to can catch up on all important activity, determine priorities, consult on business decisions and strategy, etc. The more synergy and trust you have with your partner the better, but that can only evolve through regular communication.
It’s true that not all partnerships will work out, so it’s important to recognize when a partnership no longer contributes to the success of a company. But, if both partners make a whole-hearted effort to deliver on his or her responsibilities, other elements of managing the business should go much more smoothly.