A business without a strong partnership isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. If you run a business and you’re looking to take it further to try and compete with the biggest industry leaders out there, you’re going to need help from a partner or two. The problem with partnering up, however, is that these types of relationships instantly place a lot of weight on the individual’s shoulders. These relationships need to work and, if they don’t, you’re not only ruining a relationship, but you’re also going to end up ruining your business. Here are 10 tips to ensure a strong business partnership works.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Pick Up the Phone
Communication is highly important between business partners. If you do not communicate effectively, your business will suffer. Whether you’re looking for help & advice or you’re simply not happy with a particular operation that your business partner is delegated to – talking to one another can promptly sort out any issues before it’s too late.
2. Don’t Surprise Each Other
Your partner’s birthday is different – there’s nothing wrong with surprise birthday bumps in the office. However, when it comes to anything business related, you should always be upfront and never surprise each other. Whether it’s a small change in the office or you’re looking to do something different in the warehouse environment to make it operate more efficiently – let your partner know you want to make the necessary changes. The chances are you’re going to both come up with something even better to make operations run smoother.
3. Don’t Agree on Business Decisions Verbally
It doesn’t matter how much you and your partner trust each other, it’s crucial you put everything you communicate verbally into writing. Business partnerships aren’t easy to make work but, if you both have everything in writing, you can always go back and prove it.
4. Decide on Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Both you and your partner will have strengths and weaknesses to bring to the table. It’s crucial you have a sit down with your partner to decide on what those are. It’s going to be much more positive for your business if you’re both operating sides that you’re good at. One of you will be good at sales whereas the other may have a thing for numbers – pick and choose not only what you’re both good at but also what you enjoy doing. It makes working relationships that little bit easier and your business will also benefit.
5. Admit to Your Own Mistakes
No business partner is perfect – we all make mistakes. Business partnerships are built around trust and if you admit to your own mistakes from time to time, they will do the same and you can both benefit without worrying what the other is doing behind your back. You can learn more here about how good business partnerships can not only improve businesses as a whole but also improve customer service.
6. Outline Your Goals
A business partnership is not going to work if you both have different ambitions for the business. It’s better to get it all out in the open so you both know what you want to achieve. Discussing your goals will put you both on the same level, so you know exactly what you both need to do to ensure your business flourishes. Ultimately, if these types of discussions do not take place in the first instance, you could end up hitting a brick wall in the future, which could be the downfall of your business. Don’t overlook these things if you’re serious about taking your business to the top.
7. Delegate Workload Fairly
You should both be on the same level in terms of business ownership or responsibilities. As stated above, you’ll both have your strengths and weaknesses to bring to the table, so why not delegate the workload fairly so everybody is happy? If your partner is doing less work because it’s their strength, it doesn’t mean you should be doing less work because you’re doing something else with your strength. Some things take more time than others and it’s up to both partners to be fair.
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8. Always Be Respectful
From time to time, as business partners, you’re likely going to get upset with one another. This is common in business and you’re never going to be happy all the time. What you can do, however, to not dig deeper holes for yourself, is to always remain respectful. Always talk to each other and be apologetic if needed. At the end of it, you’re eventually going to forget about the event and look to build bridges. If you haven’t been respectful, though, these bridges are going to be a lot harder to mend and maintain in the future.
9. Don’t Bottle it Up
This is something that almost all of us, as humans, tend to do. We let certain things slide but, over a longer period of time, it builds up and, eventually, we lose our heads over something so stupid. If something has upset you regardless of how small, it’s better to get it off your chest now. It helps you keep a clearer mind and you can both be upfront with each other throughout the duration of your relationship.
10. Always Provide Support
This doesn’t just fall under the business category; it’s also personal. As business partners, you’ll likely build some sort of a friendship. If your partner is having trouble at home, always be there to support them. It’s the supportive comments that can go a long way in building strong business partnerships.
A true business partnership can only work if you both trust each other and, if you feel like your partner isn’t trustworthy from the beginning, it’s up to you to try and make the necessary changes before it’s too late. Along with being trustworthy, however, is also having a relationship that’s fair and works for both parties. If you’re not willing to put in the time and effort to communicate, agree, and be respectful to your partner, they’ll likely not be willing to provide the same and you’re both going to end up going in circles.