I find strategic partnerships essential for any type of business. There comes a moment during the Company’s growth when a change is necessary to generate fresh ideas and create new opportunities. But how can partnerships support this process, without losing the Company’s identity? This comes as the biggest and most common fear for many business owners, who often think that partnerships might destroy the original concept at the base of their vision. The reality is that even successful companies require a transformation at one point. Growth is synonymous with evolution, and the evolving process requires skills that may not be yet present or developed from within.
Who is a good partner?
A business partnership is meant for generating opportunities and driving growth towards a shared goal. A prospective partner owns different resources, connections or vital skills that your company lacks at. Ideally partners’ professional skills should complement one another, without overlapping more than required.
How can you be sure to have found a good partner?
- Be clear and open about your interest in creating a partnership.
- Evaluate if this relationship benefits your professional and personal growth and clearly define what you expect to gain from this partnership.
If you don’t have clear answers to these points, you’re not in a position to create effective and profitable connections.
If you haven’t worked together before, test the partnership out by identifying and working together on a project that requires cooperation in order to highlight each other’s skills. This is a way to learn about each other’s strengths and core values.
There is no need to hurry into a deal: always take one step at a time.
Sometimes enthusiasm and excitement can blind you to red flags and imperfections. Set a follow-up meeting to address next steps so as to be sure that both parties are on board and equally committed. A lack of follow-through by one party could mean stress and strain in the future. Wise and detailed preparation are essential. It’s also very important to establish routines for regular communication. This is key to monitor the defined goals on a regular basis. Sit down every month and every quarter to discuss about how you envision the future of the business and what are the required steps to take to get there within an agreed timeframe.
Great partnerships also require great protection. Seal all arrangements in writing to avoid intricate and dangerous breakup. This is one of the hardest conversations to have but by far the most important.
Here is the recipe for maintaining great PARTNERSHIP:
Plan: have both a short-term and long-term plan to support the collaboration
Achieve: define goals and focus on your target
Review: constructively confront yourselves and maintain a constant communication
Trust: rely on each other’s strengths
Norm: create processes based on each learning
Evaluate: monitor how you are progressing together toward your objectives
Recognize: celebrate the success and learn from your failures
We are proud of our partnerships and we are looking for new exciting opportunities.
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