Reaching success in an ever-turbulent world of business depends on a variety of factors. There is no denying that creating a strong partnership that will tie supports and associates much closer to your own professional agenda is one of them. But, what exactly makes a successful partnership and how to set up this small venture on the healthy foundations that will allow all the involved parties to pursue personal goals, but to the mutual benefits?
Let us take a look at a couple of tips that will provide us with the answers to these difficult questions.
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Look for the partners with complementary skills
This is one of the main ways to ensure that your partnership will be based on the principles of shared goals and seamless cooperation. While partiers that belong to the same niche can prove to be a tremendous asset in growing your business, you should primarily seek partnership in the form of persons or companies that possess the skills and resources you don’t and vice-versa. This way, you are ensuring that the eventual growth of each party benefits the whole partnership.
Identify shared goals
Of course, possessing complementary skills does not automatically make sure that the partnerships will be based on mutual benefits. The results of the association should be equally satisfactory for all partners. So, start the negotiations by laying down the overall goals of the partnerships, shared objectives and the steps that should be made in order for these goals to be met. This way, the partnership will get a clear sense of purpose from the get-go.
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Bring the partners closer together
Besides the shared goals, treating the partnership as a joint venture, or even better, the singular organization opens up other exciting possibilities. One of them is the opportunity to bind partners and associates closer together with shared team-building events, and business conferences. Just devise a good program, order quality champagne and let the associate mingle, network and hopefully open up some new, exciting business opportunities.
Treat the partnership as a separate entity
The easiest way to take out all the shared activities out of the partners’ jurisdiction and put them under a separate body formed by the partners’ representatives. This body should have its budget, managerial hierarchy, and its business infrastructure. By doing this, you will make sure that the agreed objectives are achieved impartially and without excessive involvement of any of the partners.
Create a written agreement
There are very few things that are able to undermine the strength of a partnership to the same extent as undefined goals and handshake agreements. That is why, as soon as you define the basic principles of the partnership, you should make sure to put all these topics into a written and legally binding agreement.
This all-important document should consist of the following topics:
- Name of the partnership
- Contributors to the partnership
- Partnership decision-making
- Management of the partnership
- Allocation of profits and losses
- Partners’ authority in different matters
- The process for admitting new partners
- Withdrawal clauses
- Resolving disputes
Give all parties a way out
As we can see, every partnership agreement should include a section that describes the process of leaving the partnership and the state of the partnership after one of several partners have backed out. Answering these questions in the greatest possible detail is more important than it looks. If we look at this type of joining as a marriage, failing to provide clear withdrawal procedures can be best described as an ugly divorce. The legal repercussions can bring all the involved parties to a grinding halt.
Give the partnership the expiration date
If all business partnerships are formed with some mutual goal in mind, it is only natural that all of the parties are presented with the choice to continue on their own once these goals are met. Of course, the partnership agreement should contain renewal clauses in case the parties conclude the partnership is still mutually beneficial. But, if these benefits are missing, the partnership loses its very purpose and new associates should be sought elsewhere.
We hope these seven tips gave you some general idea about the healthy founding practices that eventually create strong and successful professional partnerships. Taking into consideration the harsh business climate we are currently living in, the prospect of joining forces with other entrepreneurs and companies sounds too good to miss. However, business partnerships are only as useful as they are carefully crafted. Do your best to always keep that in mind.