7 Essential Qualities of Every Successful Business Partnership

What is the key to a successful business partnership?Business Partnership

In order for a business enterprise to grow and gain more market share the development of a successful business partnership will be necessary.

One simply cannot do all the work necessary if growth is to take place. Next to outsourcing, forming a business partnerships is the most efficient and cost effective method for multiplying individual effort.

Here are 7 essential qualities of every successful business partnership which can be used as guidelines to help a business partnership more productive.

1. Unique Skill Sets

One of the most common mistakes made when an individual seeks to form a partnership with another is they essentially look for a “clone.” This is a mistake. Keep in mind each partner should bring a set of unique skills into the partnership. Ideally, each partner will have skills which “compliment” the skills of the other partner. Example; one partner might be good with tasks, so the other should have strong people skills. This way the partnership can effectively overcome many management and decision-making challenges.

2. Flexibility and Fluidness

Although partners should possess unique skill sets it should in no way form a hierarchy of responsibility. There are skill sets which all competent business people possess, and each partner should utilize them when required. Flexibility and fluidness is much an attitude as it is a mode of behavior. The need for partners to be spontaneous, flexible and fluid is generally caused by workload demand. So having the right attitude and following it up with action when the workload demands it will allow partners to meet challenges successfully.

3. Honest Communication 

Letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing, is important in a business partnership. It is not only important for taking effective action, but for keeping the relationship on solid footing. Where most partners get into trouble is when it comes to giving bad news to the other partner, because they don’t want to do it. Understandably, giving bad news to the other partner is hard, however open and honest communication in a business partnership requires it, whether it is good news or bad.

4. Common Standards

When developing a successful business partnership it is essential partners share common standards. These generally include work ethics, quality standards, and acceptable business practices to name a few. Standards are like the oars of a boat, and when both partners are rowing in the same direction their destination can be reached more smoothly. If the partners have standards which are polar opposites they will be working against each other, which could affect not only the health of the partnership, but the health of business enterprise too.

5. Genuine Respect

The primary value of a successful business partnership is established by the genuine respect partners have for one another. Each partner values the knowledge, skill and experience of the other. They show tremendous consideration and admiration for each other too. When people ask about the business the first thing mentioned is the other partner, and the contribution they have made toward the success of the business. Fostering and expressing respect for each other allows them to weather the difficult times, and to enthusiastically celebrate the good times as well.

6. Negotiation

In any relationship there is going to be a need to negotiate, and business partnerships are no different. It is a fact there may be times when you just will not see eye-to-eye with your partner. This is where the willingness to negotiate a plan and move forward becomes critical. Now many think negotiation means compromise, but it need not, and should instead center on what is needed to work together cooperatively, and move forward. Remember, partners do have to work together harmoniously and effectively, it doesn’t mean they have to agree on everything.

7. Open Mindedness

No one partner should think they have all the skills or knowledge needed to launch the business into the stratosphere. If they did there would be no need for the partnership in the first place. Yes, there will be times when one partner has the appropriate skill set and takes the lead. In these cases the other partner will have to play a supporting role, and learn some new skills. Successful business partnerships are where each partner is willing to learn from the other, and assume a supportive role when necessary.

Business partnerships are as individual as the ventures which utilize them, and so we’d like to hear about the unique features of your business partnership. As this article presents 7 qualities which have worked for others we would also be interested in your partnership experience, and ideas.

Can creating a business partnership help your business grow?

Join the discussion by leaving a comment below and please spread the word by sharing this post with your friends.


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About the Author: This post was contributed by Andrew G. Rosen, editor of the popular career advice blog Jobacle.com and the author of How to Quit Your Job Gracefully. Follow Andrew on Twitter @jobacle

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