What is your proven strategy for building a strong business partnership?
If we would try to break down the world of business to its essential parts, we would discover that all the blocks that make a successful business are built on the foundations laid by successful relationships. Relationship with customers, relationships between employees, and so on.
One thing that often ends up overlooked in this grand scale of things is the relationship between different parties sharing common business interests.
That is very unfortunate because businesses that are able to build powerful strategic business partnership networks are able to tap into shared resources, create predictable revenue streams, acquire new customers, expand geographic reach, and so much more.
10 Timeless Lessons for Building Strong Business Partnership
But, what steps we can take to develop these beneficial business partnership networks? Let us take a look.
1. Be direct and on point
When traveling, the fastest way to reach your goal is to take a straight line from point A to point B.
In negotiations and business relationships, in general, that straight line would be expressing your opinions in an honest and on-point manner.
Every word you utter has to be deliberate. Otherwise, you will damage your reputation as a reliable leader and business partner.
Besides, strong and well-defined ideas are much easier to rally behind than muddled and directionless overtures.
2. Be supportive
If you want to receive support, you need to be ready to provide support when your partners need it.
In order for this rule to work on a larger scale, each member of your professional network needs to feel the same sense of collaboration and optimism.
The structures that are built on these positive foundations are much more capable of helping the members to visualize beneficial processes and achieve shared goals.
That is why your job should not only be to show a certain degree of support to your partners but to encourage the other parties to do the same.
3. Identify a shared mission
Although the previous two issues we covered are incredibly important for maintaining business relationships, it is very essential to understand that they can’t be the glue that will keep your network together.
So, try to identify the shared vision and goals that will prove to be a much stronger cohesive force.
In order to do that, take some time to discuss the issues of a shared mission with your partners.
Also, do your best to identify the aspects of your business that keep your partners energized and use them as leverage during negotiations.
4. Organize joint events
By joint events, we don’t mean anything overly excessive. Just rent some venue, hire professional catering services, play relaxing music in the background and you will have all the pieces set in place for a pleasant corporate event.
Here, you and your business partners will have an opportunity to have an honest conversation in a very casual atmosphere free from conference room constraints.
Such a setting opens up the possibility for brainstorming, crisis management and strengthening of pre-existing business relationships.
5. Leverage the partners’ strengths
Every person and establishment engages in business partnership offering distinct strengths and motivated by different goals.
Although all these forces should be ultimately bound together by a shared goal, you should not make a mistake of overlooking the unique advantages all the partners are bringing to the table.
Also, do your best to move past the obvious advantages and take into consideration underlying assets as well.
Successfully employing these unique resources, improves long-term commitment, success, and motivation.
6. Make sure each partner’s expectations are met
As we already mentioned, each partner brings unique strengths and demands into business relationships.
Therefore, if you want to successfully leverage the strengths of your associates, they need to feel their expectations have been successfully met.
However, it should be pointed out that all the members of the partnership should be rewarded based on the effort they invest in a joint venture.
Otherwise, the motivation and the momentum you have successfully built by now will quickly start to deflate.
7. Embrace the changes
Changes are the reality of life. Sometimes, they are for the better. Sometimes, they are for the worse. Either of these outcomes can bring disruptive elements into your business partnership.
With the things as they are, two best things you can do to preserve the balance of your professional network would be to anticipate the potential development and set up the contingencies for addressing these problems.
Of course, you should give priority to negative developments like differing values, unequal commitment, and lack of success.
8. Create a written agreement
Handshake agreements have no business in the world of entrepreneurship. They are just too easily forgotten once the first signs of trouble start appearing on the horizon.
Instead, all of the issues we have covered above should be put into a written agreement.
Some of the topics these documents should contain are as follows:
- Amount of capital invested by partners
- Proposed business model
- The proportion in which the profits and losses will be shared
- Partner compensations and bonuses
- Distribution of assets in the case of business dissolution
- Provisions for partnership changes
- Clauses for dispute settlements
- Settlements in the case of incapacitation
- Expected length of the partnership
- Restrictions regarding expenditures
9. Hold monthly meetings
Strong business partnerships are built on honest and open communication.
When we talked about organizing joint events, we saw how this interaction can be performed in a laid-back, casual environment, and what the benefits of such a setup are.
Still, these meetings should be looked on only as an extension of the formal interaction which should be performed on a monthly basis.
These meetings should offer all of the parties a chance to share their grievances, provide constructive criticism, discuss future plans, and so on.
10. A catalyst for the development
Last but not least, a strong business partnership should act as a catalyst for the growth of each member.
The partnership should be structured in such a manner to encourage the spirit of innovation and encourage the members’ growth, as well as set up the mechanisms each member can use to reach their developmental goals.
In order for this to be possible, though, the partners need to reach a very high level of mutual understanding and create an environment that supports success, invention, and innovation.
We hope these ten insights can help you reach a better understanding of how to build strong and fruitful business partnerships.
The contemporary business environment we are forced to work within is relentless and highly competitive.
With the things as they are, strategic partnerships could be one of the strongest assets we can use to edge out the competition.
Let us then do our best to put these professional relationships on solid foundations.
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Diana Smith is a full-time mom of two beautiful girls interested in the latest SEO and social media news.