In today’s cut throat business world, anything that can give you a leg up on your competition should be very seriously considered. However, finding that one perfect thing that will put you above the rest of your industry isn’t easy. It often takes dedicating a significant amount of time, effort and money to your cause. But what can make this task easier for you is a partnership that can bring your business to the next level.
Depending on the type of business you’re running, the partnership you seek will vary. For some, acquiring a partnership with a distributor or manufacturer for marketing purposes may be what you’re looking for. But for others, building a mutually beneficial business relationship with another entrepreneur will be the most productive. To help with these types of relationships, here are three tips for creating and maintaining great business partnerships.
Understanding Each Side’s Strengths and Weaknesses
For most business people looking for partnerships, they are seeking out this relationship to bring something new to the table—a skill or strength you don’t presently possess. To best understand this aspect of your relationship, Ryan Goodrich, a contributor to Business News Daily, recommends you conduct a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is where you find out each side’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This analysis will help you clearly see where you can help your partner and where they can best help you as well.
Hammer Out a Clear Partnership Agreement
If your roles and limitations aren’t clearly defined with your partner from the get-go, you could experience some friction within your business relationship. This is especially true if you and your partner come up with an idea together and then one of you wants majority ownership or to leave the partnership. Because this does happen, Patrick Hull, a contributor to Forbes, suggests for a clear partnership agreement to be drawn up and signed prior to entering into any business partnership. Work with an attorney to figure out what documents or stipulations to include to protect yourself from future disputes.
Make Sure Your Business Communication Styles Mesh
A good partnership can only function if you and your partner are able to effectively communicate with each other. For this reason, it’s vital that you know and understand your prospective business partner’s communication style prior to entering into your partnership.
According to Malinda Zellman in an article for Chron Small Business, the four most common and effective business communication styles are controllers, promoters, supporters and analyzers. Simply by knowing and understanding which style you and your partner fall under, you can have a more productive and mutually beneficial business relationship.
Business partnerships can really give you something that you otherwise would be without. However, to get the most out of these relationships, you need to play by these few basic and simple rules. Best of luck with all your present and future business partnerships!