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How To Build A Successful Business Partnership

Jun 25, 2008
Partnerships are some of the most difficult relationships in business to manage. More often than not they end in failure. They can become extremely complex and if they don't work out things can get very messy, often ending in failed friendships and estranged families. So if you are considering a business partnership there are a few things you should keep in mind.

When considering becoming a partner with someone you need to remember that your partnership will become about more than money. It's about trust. It's about relationship building between you and your partner. Together you're going to have a lot of challenges and difficulties that you'll need to work through together. You can't just make an important business decision on your own. You'll need to discuss it with your partner and vice versa. But at the same time there will be instances when something can't be talked about beforehand and each person will need to have confidence in the other to make the right decision.

If you are thinking of forming a business partnership with someone you will also need to determine whether you know the person well enough to work with them. Do your personalities complement each other? Do your business and your partners mesh together effectively? You need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and your partners to make sure that between the two of you there exist the skills needed to succeed.
And a successful business partnership needs to have shared goals and values. The two of you need to agree on what you want the business to become. Are you looking to build up your own little empire or are you happy with the fact that you are your own bosses and can make a decent living.

Successful business partnerships are rarely equal partnerships. Fifty fifty splits are not a wise idea when considering being partners with someone. This of course is an area that can cause a lot of animosity. But for a business to be successful most often it needs to have one voice that has the final say. Often this is worked out by determining who will be the president of the company and who is the vice president or some other such title. This can work and often does but the fact that two different people own exactly half of the company can often come into play anyway.

Once the other details have been worked out you're final test of whether a partnership can work is to draw up a business plan. In it you can outline each person's area of responsibility within the business. It's important because even though you'll want to discuss those important decisions that must be made you also want to be able to take advantage of the skills that each person is bringing into the business. You'll want the work loads and responsibilities to be fairly equal. Often animosity can develop if one person believes the other is not contributing their fair share.

Business Partnerships can work but they also require a lot more thought than a sole proprietorship does. You need to be cognizant of the other person's abilities, dedication, personal responsibilities, and goals. Just as they need to be aware of yours. Often good relationships can become strained or even end because of a failed partnership.
About the Author
Cash Miller is an experienced entrepreneur and speaker who has spent over a decade as a small business owner. His years of experience in small business cover a variety of topics. If you are looking for more small business help please check out http://www.smallbusinessdelivered.com
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