7 Tips to Establish a Lasting Business Partnerships


In order to succeed in the business world, you’ll need some help and the simplest way to achieve this is by establishing a business partnership. The problem with this idea is that efficient business partners form a symbiosis, which causes them to become co-dependent. Later on, if they decide to split, they don’t break the company into two equal functional parts (if the ratio of company ownership is 50/50) but crush what’s left of the business into the ground.

Most people have a false presumption that, in order to make a good partnership, you need to find the right partner. That’s like believing that by finding the right industry, you’ve already guaranteed your success. A business partnership is something that needs to be worked on and here are several tips to help you out.

1.      Talk about vision, not interests

Most people in the business world have similar interests – growth, profit, reputation and influence, while there are some hoping to build a legacy. Just pick a random potential partner and there’s a chance that you both share some if not all of these interests. Still, vision is where not a lot of people’s thoughts converge. How you get to your goals, which directions you take your business in and much more are just some of the things you need to discuss with your partner as soon as possible. In other words, talk about vision, missions and goals rather than focusing on interests.

2.      Identify their strengths

While having someone to relieve you of your duties may seem like a good enough thing, what you want is someone capable of complementing your strengths with those of their own. In other words, you’re looking for a person talented in areas where you lack in proficiency. Another thing that this helps is the division of labor. If both you and your partner want to assume same responsibilities, you might start an argument that could be the cause of numerous problems. On the other hand, in this way, the division of responsibilities comes naturally and intuitively.

3.      Show signs of respect

Sometimes, it’s worth going out of your way in order to show some respect towards your partner. For instance, if they go to a business meeting in NSW, why not have a Sydney Airport limousine service wait for them there? This is an expense your company budget isn’t likely to feel, yet it might mean the world to your partner. You don’t have to stop there seeing as how there are numerous other ways to show respect to your partner in a frugal, simple and thoughtful way.

4.      Individual goals are equally as important

The next issue worth keeping in mind is the fact that individual goals can be equally as important as the company ones. If you know your partner’s long-term desires, it’s easy to recognize a situation where they’ll sacrifice the good of the company in order to achieve their own dreams. Armed with this knowledge, you can make a counter-offer, take the necessary precautions or simply discuss this with your partner. At the end of the day, understanding what makes the other party tick is the most vital factor in any kind of relationship.

5.      Be open in communication and problem-solving

The way in which you communicate with your partner is crucial when it comes to establishing trust between the two of you. If they see that you’re holding back or that you know more than you’re telling them, they might feel the need to assume the same stance towards you, as well. Soon, the right hand of your company will have no clue what its left hand is doing, which will irreversibly set your business on a downward spiral.

6.      Define everyone’s roles

Earlier on, we talked about the importance of defining everyone’s roles early on. Well, this is a topic worth revisiting. You see, agreeing with someone might seem like a great long-term solution but you would be surprised at just quickly things change in a growing company. In other words, once new tasks and administrative aspects start appearing, it’s important to know who’s responsible for them. In other words, you need to make a written agreement on role division within your company. Nothing short of that will work.

7.      Friends are not great business partners

Finally, keep in mind that friends seldom make great business partners. Sure, loyalty is a powerful asset in a business world but when people are connected on a personal level, envy is a possible outcome as well. It’s easy to be friends with your equals, however, what happens when your closest friend or relative proves to be a more capable administrator or a more rational businessperson? In theory, this shouldn’t be a problem but in practice, this often gives negative backlash. For this reason alone, keeping your personal and professional lives separate is usually the best course of action.


Trust is perhaps the most important factor for a successful business partnership, yet, it’s something we’ve deliberately omitted from this list. Why? Well, simply because trust is not something you can build through any particular effort. It’s something you need to work on 24/7 often through the seven items listed above. Moreover, by following several rules of precaution listed above, you will be able to avoid some of the most persistently problematic partnership issues.



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