The ability to successfully join forces with another enterprise is an essential quality of a successful company. A strong business partner can support you with capital or let you take advantage of their brand to get you more exposure. They can help you break into new markets by offering services that you can’t. When the cogwheels are matched, a lucrative business partnership can become the main motor in your business growth. These are several invaluable lessons on developing and nurturing mutually beneficial partnerships.
Finding the right strategic partner is no less important than finding your co-founder or hiring people to key positions. You will certainly be working closely together, so having a good rapport is paramount. When choosing a partner, don’t be afraid to trust your instincts. If your gut tells you that something isn’t right, even if everything seems good, it probably pays off to be cautious.
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Do your homework
You need to be sure that a partner can deliver what they have promised before you sign any kind of relationship. Make inquiries among your network of friends and focus on companies with an established track record. Unless they can provide some evidence of their results, you may want to start looking elsewhere.
Set clear goals
By making sure that all parties are using the same scale you are greatly improving your chances of a desirable outcome. In addition, being on the same page with your partners gives you a tool for measuring a project’s success. If you understand what you want from a partnership, and are receptive for your partner’s goals, everyone will be aligned and have the same complementary point of view.
Know your weaknesses…
Everyone has experienced this – trying to do too much at once. That habit is hard to let go, especially if you are passionate about your product or idea. However, if you find partners who are proficient in a particular area, you will be able to concentrate on your core competencies. Remember what your primary activities that keep your business running are and be ready to admit your weaknesses and empty slots.
… But also what makes you special
With a clear idea of your own intellectual property and the values you lay into a partnership, you are ready to negotiate the terms of any business agreement. What is more, it actually helps you determine when you should work with a partner and which parts of a project to move in-house.
Keep communication alive
When you have found a great partner, established a good relationship and defined your mutual objectives, you shouldn’t stop communicating. Frequent check-ins will ensure that any problems that may arise can be talked through. Communication is important for keeping confidence levels high on both sides. It enables you to deal with unexpected crisis swiftly and make all necessary changes on the move.
Little tokens of affection
As with romantic relationships, small tokens of gratitude always help to oil up the partnership. If you value your brand, show your partners that you are thoughtful and shower them suitable corporate gifts. Many corporate gifting services offer customizable branding, so, for example, you can order custom stress balls accompanied with your business logo. Business gifts like these are an extremely cost-effective method of advertising, as they are usually retained and used frequently.
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A strong business partnership is a valuable asset for every company. However, sometimes the agreement doesn’t work out. If you see that a business partnership is no longer sustainable, it is ok to walk away. It is always better to end a harmful partnership and start looking for new options than to insist on something that has no future.