8 Tips for Successful Business Partnerships

2022.12.12 03:09 PM By Joshua Taddeo, Principal Consultant

You can't wait to pair up with your new business partner and achieve more than you could ever achieved on your own. But there's also a part of you that's apprehensive. How can you be sure that the marriage between your venture and your partner's venture won't end in an ugly divorce? The reality is, according to research, 70% of business partnerships end up failing.

Business partnerships can offer many benefits. But you never know the motives of the other business. That's why we've compiled eight tips for successful business partnerships.

1. Create a Shared Mission and Vision

It's paramount that you and your business partner define your new venture's mission and vision or why statement right away. That's because if your mind and your partner's mind aren't on the same page, problems will quickly arise. So, make sure that your methods and objectives are the same. Otherwise, you'll be fighting against each other in a nightmarish ordeal instead of building a dream together.

2. Use Each Other's Strengths

Partners come together for various reasons and with different expectations. However, sometimes, each party's strengths might end up being overlooked. You might recognize each other's most apparent skills. However, if you bring out your underlying strengths, this can have a positive impact on your success, motivation, and commitment long term.

3. Address Each Partner's Expectations and Needs

Both you and your partner have your own motivations for being part of your partnership. For instance, you might have paired up with your partner for capital, connections, and expertise. Make sure that both you and your partner understand your reasons for joining forces. Otherwise, your relationship might end up becoming strained. Also, keep in mind that sometimes individual expectations and needs might change with time. To prepare for this, be sure to write out a precise modification or dissolution plan early on.

4. Support the Limitations of the Partnership

Because you're trying to save money, you might overlook little things in which you and your partner have little interest or expertise. For instance, you might be weak in any of the following areas:

  • Administrative tasks
  • Financial management
  • Operations management
  • Personnel management
  • Sales and marketing
  • Service/Product development
  • Strategy

It's critical that you identify your limitations in all of these areas early on and then create a plan for managing them. If you fail to do this, you'll watch your business slip away over time.

5. Handle Frustrations, Disagreements, and Disappointments Right Away

Disagreements are bound to happen in your partnership. Handling these types of disagreements properly is key to maintaining a healthy working relationship. One of the worst things you can do is allow your bad feelings to build up and fester long term. Instead, agree early on to approach each other as soon as a problem needs addressing. Another smart move is to participate in a regular sit-down every month to keep your relationship from deteriorating or becoming strained. During these meetings, present plans for changes as needed, which will give you both something to respond to and work with.

6. Establish Individual and Company Goals

When it comes to setting goals for your partnership, begin by developing goals for the joint venture. Then, you both should develop goals for yourselves. However, your individual goals need to support the partnership's goals. In addition, your goals need to support and measure expectations. Be prepared to update your partnership goals over time as needed. And put all of this in writing so that you both are clear on your agreed-upon expectations. In this way, there will be no question regarding who is accountable for achieving certain things.

7. Define Each Partner's Job Roles

Just as you write out job roles for your employees, you need to have job roles written out for both you and your partner. For example, you should write descriptions featuring lists of tasks and the outcomes for which you both are responsible. And if there are specific tasks that neither of you can handle, hire or contract a specialist who can perform them.

The ultimate goal is to ensure that all essential tasks are covered from the start. If you don't have written roles, you might end up operating your joint venture under potentially destructive false assumptions. Not being clear about your job roles can quickly become a source of disappointment and frustration in your partnership. 

8. Respect Each Other

This is one of the most important things you can do when you're entering a business partnership. If you respect each other, you won't take advantage of, or exploit, each other's weaknesses and strengths simply because you're able to. In addition, you won't make moves that will surprise each other. Instead, you'll ask for the approval of your partner before you make a decision that he or she may not agree with. It may seem obvious that communication is an essential part of a successful business partnership. But unfortunately, many partnerships fail because they haven't mastered the art of communication.

So, as mentioned earlier, make sure that you regularly sit down with each other and be open about how you feel about the partnership. Are things moving in the right direction? The more frequently and openly you communicate, the less likely you are to have significant blow-ups that could threaten your partnership's future. 

How We Can Help with Successful Business Partnerships

We offer top-of-the-line operations consulting services designed to help organizations and individuals address professional, business, and world problems effectively. With a passion for facilitating successful business partnerships, our goal is to bring together the various aspects of companies and teams to work to solve these problems. Only then can your business run more efficiently in the months and years ahead. And only then can everyone enjoy a better quality of life overall.

Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you to achieve your business and individual goals this year and beyond.