1. Key Elements of Long-Term Business Partnerships
2. Building Trust in Partnerships

Trust in business partnerships implies that both parties participating in the relationship will give and get something out of the partnership.

Key Elements of Long-Term Business Partnerships

Several key elements identify lasting business relationships.

Trust

Trust is the foundation of a successful partnership. It is crucial for there to be a transparent, honest relationship. Trust is non-negotiable. It should also be unequivocal, unreserved, and unambiguous.

Note that trust can be tricky ground to cover when going into business with a friend. There is a difference between being friends and being business partners. Be careful, and honestly evaluate the individual and how they interact with others.

When anticipating entering into a long-term partnership, it is critical that you enter into it with having trust in the other person. If this is lacking on any level, it will reflect in the partnership and result in an unsuccessful business.

Mutual Respect

A partnership involves teamwork. No matter which partner did what job, how much work they did, or how long they did it, the end result is a combination of both partners' efforts.

Shared Vision and Values

Both partners being in sync with the same goals is a positive step toward achieving a successful business partnership.

Something that can have a negative impact is that once the company is successful, the partners will lose their initial interest and drive in the current business and take their creative ideas and energy into new projects.

It is imperative that both partners have similar goals, ambitions, and outcomes. Keeping goals aligned should be a priority for both partners.

As the business venture evolves, it is important to regularly check your goals and responsibilities and set new goals as needed.

Honest and Open Communication

When entering into a partnership, open and honest communication is mandatory. Subjects such as money matters, mistakes made, and even management styles may be difficult, but each must be addressed.

When discussing issues, each partner must be forthcoming and tell the truth. Keeping secrets, making side deals, or wanting to leave the business are topics that can lead to the failure of a partnership and business.

Complementary Skill Sets

Any successful partnership hinges on what each person brings to the table in terms of knowledge and/or experience. Each partner should be open about their skill level and their weaknesses. This will help balance the partnership.

Drive

While balancing skills and experience is important, it is equally important that both partners bring an abundance of drive and energy. Regardless of who does what, keeping the drive to succeed and accomplish goals focused leads to a thriving business.

Continuous Self-Evaluation

Scrutinizing yourself as well as your partner when creating a balance between personality traits, skills, and motivation is a priority.

Each partner must be honest about their negative sides or areas that are lacking, such as people skills. Honesty is the best policy. It allows the partners to make adjustments as needed.

Try to do an annual self-evaluation where each partner examines the others. Then, have a discussion and provide constructive feedback. Indicate ways that each individual can grow and improve.

Building Trust in Partnerships

When a strong business partnership exists, it is a positive experience that can make the road to success more manageable.

Benefits of a Strong Partnership

  • A good partner adds to the business by bringing skills and perspective.
  • A partner is part of a support system when things are not going well.
  • This is someone you trust to be honest with you at all times.
  • The individual will act in a manner that puts the company's best interests at the forefront.
  • A partner is another set of eyes and another perspective.
  • In some cases, a partner helps shoulder the workload.
  • Partners can also provide intangible benefits to the company.
  • A good partner possesses skills that complement your own.

There are three things to keep in mind when anticipating going into business with a partner:

  1. Partners help with ideas through brainstorming.
  2. Partners bring out the best in each other by strengthening assets and balancing weaknesses.
  3. Partners are each other's support system for the emotional rollercoaster that is running a business.

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