The formation of business partnerships with a similar business or businesses can be a dynamic and versatile move that complements the products or services of the businesses involved. Regardless of what form a business partnership takes—short term, long term, deeply integrated or something more casual—all have the potential to drive in new business, strengthen existing business and generally improve the lives of all the businesses involved.
With the importance and value of business partnerships in mind, your friends at Dale Carnegie Training came up with the following seven tips to help you establish and maintain strong business partnerships:
1. Begin With a Unified Vision — Start by understanding the purpose of your partnership. What motivates each of the companies involved? What drew you to one another? The factors that align your businesses should serve as the basis for how your businesses will interact with one another.
2. Address Individual Needs — Part of maintaining a strong business partnership is to avoid being self-serving and instead being sensitive to each other’s wants and needs, and providing support when available. The more you help each other out with your individual goals, the more likely you are to achieve your unified goals.
3. Identify Strengths & Weaknesses — One of the benefits to establishing a business partnership is finding ways to complement your individual businesses where one excels and the other falls short. By maximizing your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses, your businesses should theoretically learn and grow from one another and strengthen not only as a team, but individually as well.
4. Establish Partnership Roles — Avoid stepping on each other’s toes or overstepping boundaries. Put into writing what each partner’s roles are, what their limitations are and even include accountability as a precaution.
5. Show Respect Throughout Partnership — Be responsive and communicate regularly to keep one another abreast of mutual interests and project statuses. You need to be honest about situations that affect one business or the other to avoid damaging your relationship, and carefully manage any disagreements that may turn up by mistake or misfortune. Like any relationship, communication is key.
6. Maximize Partnerships With Webpages — Mutually agree to develop a partner page on your respective websites. Partner pages can be extremely lucrative, driving traffic to your partner’s website from yours, and to yours from theirs. When designing a partner page, make it as dynamic and compelling for visitors as you can by ensuring that it adds value to both your companies and your websites.
7. End Partnerships Peacefully — Partnerships are relationships, and when a rift starts to negatively affect both businesses in a partnership, the most prudent business decision may be to go your separate ways. Always try to navigate these separations amicably so that there are no lasting negative effects on either business.
Business partnerships can be a powerful venture for two or more businesses if all companies involved are sensitive and cautious about each other’s individual needs. Do this and you’ll stand to not only profit monetarily, but also preserve and enhance each other’s image along the way.