Since day one at any work place you’ve had, all you heard was that the team and teamwork is everything. First, it was kind of unusual to fit in and adjust to the idea but then you realized you actually love the whole idea and ideology behind it.
The hard work led you to starting out your own company and the idea of teamwork prompted the idea of having a business partner. Yet, you already learned that, for a team of two or twenty-two to function, partners’ personalities, skills and qualities need to be in sync. Sometimes (and more often than not) you need to work on this sync happening. Here are some tips that will help you build a strong business partnership:
1. Getting along
Naturally, to form a partnership with someone, you need to like the person. Aside all the skills this person has and how well he/she fits your criteria for a partner, you two need to have good chemistry. If you don’t, no matter how skilled both of you are at your jobs, it simply won’t work.
In business, friendships, marriage or any other field of our lives it is of utmost importance to communicate with your partner. And, not just to communicate for the communication sake – but to actually be involved in what’s happening. You need to build a chain of cause and result, cause being great understanding between you two and result being a successful business. Of course, there is surely going to be some miscommunication from time to time. Disagreements, too. Yet, you two need to work out a system on how to solve these when they pop. Learning how to minimize and solve misunderstandings is a great way to build a successful enterprise.
3. Expectations and agreements
All mutual liking aside, to have a well functioning business, you need to have a carefully drafted partnership agreement. This document should be done by your attorneys so there is no confusion and you always have a legal document to rely on, in case things get messy.
Further, no matter how much we’d like it – no one can read our mind, nor can our business partner. To have a healthy relationship, you two should consistently set your expectations with each other. That way both of you will be clear on what the other person expects you to do and you’ll know what and how much of yourself to invest into the business.
4. Same values
Assuming you are liking each other, you can take things further from there.
To run a successful business, you need a partner who has you business and life values and who understands your point without you having to elaborate everything you say each time. Also, you need to share common ground on things, believe in the same things (work-vise) and have the same, or at least a similar vision about the sophistication, commitment and seriousness you bring to your company. For each partnership to work, you both need to want the same tone for your company. For instance, if you want your firm to get the image of a high-class serious business with great potential, you’ll act on accomplishing and maintaining this image through various ways – your front desk manager, your secretary, the conference room, setting up business lunches with tasty food and high quality dessert wine types for your clients to enjoy, the overall quality of service, etc. As long as you both agree on terms, it’ll all work smoothly.
5. Have help
Even though you’d love it for all the things to go smoothly and without any hiccups, such a thing isn’t possible. It’s not that neither of you is incompetent but just exhausted. In time, no matter how much you love your business and how dedicated you are, the initial enthusiasm and strength wear off and one of the partners ends up doing double the work to help out his colleague. To avoid such situations that lead to absolute exhaustion, you need to have helpers around you that will run certain things instead of you. Once part of the workload is unloaded from yours or your partner’s shoulders, you two won’t suffer the syndrome of pointing fingers and calling out each other on who did more.
6. Walking away
If you have teamed up with your, say, best friend and after a while you see that things aren’t really working out, it’s absolutely okay to walk away. No hard feelings or anything. Be honest with each other in terms of your business relationship and see where everything is. It’s more important to end things in a healthy way and save a friendship (and the business!) than push something just for the sakes of calling it something it isn’t. Sometimes, things work out better when you work alone.