How to Build a Successful Business Partnership

Although business partnerships invariably start out with the best of intentions, not all of them end amicably or productively. Essential factors for successful combined business ventures include communication, cooperation, and shared vision. Here are some important things to keep in mind when forging relationships with business partners.

Clarify Your Vision

The first step is for prospective business partners to clarify and define their objectives. You can only work effectively together if you share the same vision. Set down written goals for the company and for each individual, and periodically review and update these goals so that the partners know what is expected of them. Each person’s needs in the relationship may not be the same, so be sure to address individual expectations.

Establish Roles

Before committing to the relationship, discuss the roles that each of the business partners should play in the company. This includes definitions of the tasks that each partner is responsible and accountable for. When assigning roles, utilize the individual strengths that each partner brings to the endeavor.

Recognize Limitations

Each of the business partners has limitations as well as strengths, and it is imperative to acknowledge these when you first start to work together. If neither of you has expertise in certain vital areas such as financial management, it may be necessary for you to hire outside help.

Deal With Frustrations

In any business partnership, disagreements are inevitable, and how you handle these problems determines the success or failure of your mutual endeavor. Maintain open lines of communication so that when frustrations and difficulties arise, you can talk them out. Have routinely scheduled times when you sit down and discuss your concerns. These weekly or monthly meetings provide you with opportunities to express grievances, suggest changes, celebrate victories, and bring up new ideas.

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