THE JEAN MURRAY DEFINITION
A business partnership is a legal relationship that is most often formed by a written agreement between two or more individuals or companies. The partners invest their money in the business, and each partner benefits from any profits and sustains part of any losses.
HAVING A FORMAL WRITTEN AGREEMENT WILL MAKE THE PARTNERSHIP MORE COMPLEX
- Similar to saying that having a marriage certificate guarantees there will be effective and healthy communication between both partners.
THE PARTNER THAT HOLDS THE MONEY SHOULD RUN THE SHOW
- People instinctively arrive at the default to generic criteria. “The leader should be the one who: contributes the most money and resources; is the largest organization; has the most to lose; or who has the greatest power.”
CONFLICT AND CONFRONTATION SHOULD BE AVOIDED
- Your partners need to know that they can be honest and direct, without fear of repercussions and being reprimanded. You won’t hear about the truths of your partnership functioning if people are condemned for telling you what isn’t working, or if you punish them.
Benefits of Getting Business Partners
- Bridging the Gap in Expertise and Knowledge
- Cost savings
- Bigger is better
- New perspective
- Acquire new customers
The “How to” of Partnerships
1: Solidify your Business/Project Idea
Before you bring a partner on board, you’ll need to ensure that you have a clear, developed small business idea.
2: Define what you’re looking for in a business partner
Take stock of both your strengths and your shortcomings as a future small business owner. You should seek a partner whose experience, skills, and general demeanor complements the first and bolsters the second.
3: Find some common ground
Start by looking at their values. Do they align with yours? If you can’t find any overlap then the partnership will not be balanced. Next, uncover who their ideal goals are.
4: Look at an alternative service or product
It’s always a good step to start with those who target the same clientele as yours. Not necessarily a competitor but some who offer complementary services.
5: Analyze current relationships
Think about who you interact with currently. Existing relationships can save a lot of time and energy. Who do you think would provide particular benefits to your organization in your current day-to-day dealings?
6: Ask for a referral
Referrals help a lot with building trust and breaking the ice, plus its a faster way to get through the door. Start with your network and build out. Also, ensure to leave breadcrumbs to show who you are along the way.
7: Look for established businesses
Identify those businesses with a good social media presence and a large email list of potential clients or customers. Invest your time and get to know them on a personal level before you sign on the dotted line.
8: Partnership is about “Give and Take”
Each partner should have that sense of equity, knowing that some days s/he is giving and some days getting.
9: Ink It
No matter how basic the engagement is, ensure to leave written proof of terms and agreements. Relying solely on verbal agreements and acknowledgment is not sufficient to endorse a partnership. Your written agreement should state terms; duration, expectations, etc.
Servicing the Partnership
To ascertain the success or how fruitful a partnership is, it is advisable to review the terms and expectations, assessing them in contrast to the performance.
By far a key factor in ensuring the success of the partnership is communication. There is no such thing as over-communication. Ensure all points are clear and easily comprehended.
Celebrating milestones and achievements together goes a long way in times of conflict. It helps to create a balance and ensure all parties are aligned mutually.
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