Forming a business partnership is never a simple thing. It involves picking the right person, setting some ground rules and making a continuous effort so that the other party doesn’t feel underappreciated or neglected. However, if you manage to pull this off the right way around, you get someone who you can share your responsibilities with, someone to have your back at all times, as well as someone to help you climb to the top. Due to the fact that this is such a difficult thing to achieve, here are the top seven tips to help you form a lasting business relationship.
1. Choose wisely
The first thing you need to do in order to make a lasting business partnership is pick someone who you’re compatible with. When it comes to this compatibility, a lot of people look for someone with the same interests, which is quite useless, to be honest. After all, profit, growth and a gain of reputation are in everyone’s best interest when it comes to long-term business goals. What you need is someone who shares your vision and your values. How you want to get there is sometimes even more important than the destination itself. So, ask this pivotal question as soon as you meet someone.
2. Trust and transparency
Another thing you need to keep in mind is the importance of trust between partners. Everyone has skeletons in their closet and if these skeletons can endanger the future of your enterprise, you need to share them with your business partner. Look at it this way, the key to good communication lies in trust. This is why you need to pick a partner who will be ready and willing to share even the worst of news with you. This is the only way to make a partnership that works well under pressure.
Both you and your partner need to pose a unified front. Chances are that even if you are completely compatible (something that we’ve discussed in the first section), you’ll have to deal with all sorts of problems amongst yourselves. What matters the most is the fact that this turmoil shouldn’t be felt on the outside, especially in front of partners, investors or employees. If you can, you should always resolve these issues amongst yourselves. If not, you can contact a professional mediator to help you resolve the issue. What matters the most is that, to the outside world, this decision needs to sound unanimous.
4. Show appreciation
The next thing you need to take into serious consideration is the fact that you need to show some appreciation for your partner. Telling them that you appreciate what they’re doing for the business is one thing but taking that extra step to show that you really mean it is something else entirely. For instance, if they’re going on a business trip to Gold Coast, what you can do is arrange a Gold Coast airport car hire for them. This way, they get to commute in style and you get to show your concern and appreciation.
5. Be understanding
Being an entrepreneur is something that puts you under a lot of stress and the biggest problem lies in the fact that there are not a lot of people who can truly understand you. Your partner is one of these few people. Why? Well, because they’re virtually in the same position as you. Their financial future is closely tied to that of your own and they’re usually involved in the same decisions as you are. Sure, you need to look for comfort and understanding in your own social circle but this will never be quite the same. It goes without saying that this is a two-way street (giving and receiving).
6. Delegate tasks and responsibilities
The next thing that’s incredibly important is that you manage to delegate your tasks and responsibilities within the partnership since day one. What this means is that you need to put in writing what the jurisdiction of each partner is. Keep in mind that if there are some gray areas, when it comes to the evaluation of the contract, the court usually judges against the party that has composed the contract. So, try to cover every single basis and try to be as elaborate as possible.
7. Have a dissolution plan
The very last thing you need to understand is the fact that, in order to form a lasting business partnership, you need a great dissolution plan. Keep in mind that things don’t always work as intended and, in this scenario, having a dissolution plan acts as a sort of a contingency plan. In this particular scenario, everyone gets to put their mind at ease, knowing full-well that they have a contingency plan. Always hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
As you can see, the ground rules are as simple as they are logical. Just make sure to keep a couple of things in mind. First, you need to ensure that you give as much as you take. Second, you need to be realistic when it comes to the estimation of your own persona. What do you bring to the table and what kind of value does the other party get from you? This way, you’ll be on the right track.