A business partnership can be a short venture to experiment on the market, or a long term commitment. In any case, the same precautions and principles apply. No one wants to enter into a bad partnership. Thankfully, there are strategies to make any joint venture work.
Below are proven steps to ensure that you make the most of any business partnership you enter into.
Assessing Needs & Expectations
Any person entering into a partnership has his or her own reasons for doing so. Some require additional capital, others seek expertise, and many look for after additional capital. These reasons form the essential expectations for the partnership, and if these are not met, the partnership may suffer in the long run.
Since each partner has a different motivation, skill, and personality, you should have a thorough discussion to assess needs and expectations before committing anything into writing. In addition, propose a contingency plan in case needs and expectations change during the course of the venture.
In the discussion, determine what you and your partner expect in the relationship. This mutual sharing allows you to plan successful business strategies and enables you to be ready in case interests and circumstances change. Hence, be clear about where the joint venture will take you by analyzing each other’s motivations.
Play Off Each Other’s Strengths
Prior discussions should also involve knowing each partner’s strengths. While obvious skills and expertise may be made known during the initial stages of the partnership, many underlying strengths may remain latent and unused. These hidden strengths can make a big difference in the success of the business.
When you sit together to talk, make it a point to unveil all of your skills and expertise that can help in the business. Ask your partner to do the same as well. You may be skilled in marketing, but not have enough courage or boldness to deal with business to business negotiations. Your partner may also be bad with numbers, but you may find it easy to crunch numbers.
Be honest with one another and be open about what you can do for the business. Bringing out these underlying strengths during the partnership will not only boost motivation, but may also increase your chances of having a harmonious business relationship. Remember that your partner will have different strengths so make sure that they complement yours.
Ensuring accountability is easier in a business partnership than it is with doing business alone. By entering into a business venture, you automatically have an accountability partner who can remind you of your responsibilities and hold you accountable, not only in your success, but also in your failures.
Periodically, you should set your goals and objectives, both for the short term and the long term. In order to achieve them, each partner should have corresponding tasks and responsibilities. Now, your job is to ensure that you hold yourself accountable to any tasks and responsibilities assigned to you, as well as to check whether your partner is doing the same.
If necessary, set a corresponding reward or consequence for every successful or failed action. This ensures that you and your partner are motivated to give the best effort in achieving the set goals and objectives. In addition, set a timeline for every given task and constantly follow up on progress.
Clearly Define Your Roles
This step is very important and is related to ensuring accountability. Not having clearly defined roles in the joint venture can lead to misunderstandings in the future. To avoid conflict, assign roles to every partner involved.
Job roles should be specific and should have corresponding action plans. It should have a comprehensive description, and possibly a list of tasks required to do job. Perhaps one member is responsible for securing funding. If they’re moving through other roles without handling their assigned role first, it gets messy. Not having clear roles can lead to disappointing frustrations in any relationship.
At the early stages of a business partnership, make each role crystal clear to both parties. If there are any uncovered tasks, you can always hire or contract people with the appropriate expertise.
Follow these steps to achieve a successful and harmonious business partnership. Remember that if your partnership is not working out, it is always okay to walk away. Just be sure to exit in a mutually respectful manner by communicating your desire to exit calmly and professionally.