Some people believe that whether you trust your partner or not depends on the issue of the choice of the partner, while others believe that it’s something you can gain through effort. They’re both right. Sure, it’s easy to make a mistake on whether you’re compatible with someone or not and, in the business world, this can cost you more than just your time and emotional effort.
When choosing a business partner, you’re making a decision that will impact everything you do professionally, from that point on. Even though this may not be as relevant, it’s also something that will impact you personally, seeing as how this is a person that is, from now on, be a major part in your life. Here are several ways to try and make this work.
Pick the right person
The first thing you need to consider when forming a partnership is whether this person is the right match for you. There are two most common mistakes that people make when forming a business partnership. First, they pick someone just because they have the same interests. What this means is that they have the same end-goal; however, the way in which they get there might be completely dissimilar, which is, what matters the most. Don’t assume that someone you share goals with, share your vision, as well. Make sure to establish this before making any formal decisions.
The other mistake that you can make is to pick someone just because you have compatible personalities or a functional private relationship. Sure, being a good friend with a business partner is a beneficial thing, due to the fact that it boosts trust and helps cooperation. Nonetheless, there’s no rule to guarantee this. In other words, having a good personal relationship is a plus but you shouldn’t use it as a foundation for a successful business partnership.
Make a written agreement
Verbal communication might be the way in which you and your partner function on a daily basis, due to the fact that it’s quick, free and efficient. Nevertheless, some agreements and arrangements between you and your partner need to be kept in writing. This needs to start from a business partnership agreement. Some basic elements that this legally binding document should contain is the name of the partnership, goals of the partnership, as well as its duration.
In order not to cause an argument later on, this document should also contain the necessary contribution of each partner, in the form of cash, property or services. Other than this, one has to state assets and ownership that each partner has within the company, which may become of pivotal significance, later on. Lastly, it’s important to address partners’ buyout options.
Insist on equal treatment
Previously, we talked about the relations and relationships, however, this isn’t a constant. This is something that changes and evolves over the course of time. While starting on bad terms should be out of the question (provided that you’ve followed advice from the first section), it is possible that, at first, you’ll get along with your partner and then ruin the relationship, later on. Even if you agree on long-term vision and plans, there are some things that can ruin a relationship.
The most common reason for arguments comes from the management of the budget. In order to avoid any problems here, you need to remember that this is a relationship that rests on both giving and taking. Instead of insisting that your partner should be more modest, why not set an example and merely ask that they do the same. For instance, during your next business trip to New Zealand, you should look for a cheap car rental. Later on, when it’s your partner’s turn to go, insisting that they use the same service shouldn’t sound as unreasonable.
Complementary skills and compatible habits
Most guides suggest that in order to find a partner that you work well with, you have to have complementary skills; however, this works best when combined with compatible habits. The first one ensures that you cover each other’s strengths and weaknesses, while the latter ensures that you don’t get into each other’s way. This is especially important when it comes to the delegation of tasks. It’s by far the best if each of the partners gets the responsibilities the other doesn’t want.
In reality, though, such a thing may not be so easy to achieve. There are some tasks that simply no one wants to be in charge of, while tasks that may be deemed as preferential may be too important or too relevant for the company. This might end up in a scenario where one side feels like they’re doing all the work. All of this can be avoided by teaming up with people who have complementary skills and compatible habits, as well as negotiating honestly since day one. Sure, you may feel the need to be assertive or take your stand on an unimportant issue, but this is usually not a good start of a relationship.
At the end of the day, you need to understand that if you don’t trust your partner, there’s no way this relationship will work. This is a person that you’ll share most important business secrets, plans and ideas with, so if you feel like you can’t trust them or rely on them, you’ll be in an awkward situation. The greatest problem surrounding this issue is the fact that trust takes time and you can’t just rush into a business relationship based on a hunch. This means that the time will prove you right or wrong, which could end up being quite risky and expensive.
Still, this is something that can be worked on. A partner, a business partner, doesn’t have to know your personal secrets. As we’ve stated, they can be your friend, but this is completely optional. Instead, they expect you to be flexible when they’re in need, respect their time, address the issues directly and work on a mutually beneficial relationship. By doing this, you’ll honor your end of the deal, which is really all that you can do.
By picking the right person for this job, you can make your life so much easier, while making a poor choice can end up complicating even the simplest of tasks and decisions. This is why every choice that you make and every action that you take (regarding your partner) is of a major significance for your business.