5 Top Tips on How to Create Business Partnerships
By Viktorija Getneryte
We spend a lot of energy and time trying to figure out how to come up with great, innovative ideas for business, how to find funding, how to kick start your career. But sometimes we forget, that one of the most important parts of growing a business is to find right people to work and collaborate with. Business partnerships are key if you are in business. Through this research study, we interviewed 5 experts in different fields of businesses and different stages of their careers and selected 5 Top Tips that will help you to create long lasting, trustworthy and beneficial business relationships.
Aygul Macbeth – founder of Heathfire Property Investment LTD
Working with the right business partner is vital for your business. Personalities could clash, which could destroy the business before it has a chance to stand on its feet. On the other hand, if you find a person who could compliment you and have certain features of character, that could be a win/win situation for both of you and your business.
So, what do we need to pay attention to when choosing a person, who could be building our empire with? First and foremost, the person should be passionate and motivated about what you do. He should believe in your business idea and what you are going to achieve. They should “eat it, drink it, live it, breathe it, sleep with it…
The word “obsession” comes in mind. Your business partner should have an understanding on what direction to follow. Ways and means could be different. However, direction should stay the same. You must be able to trust each other without any doubts or reservations. Honesty and integrity are the foundation for any Joint Venture. If you are not available, your business partner should take care of your business for weeks, months to ensure operations go smoothly. They say, opposites attract. Try to find a person possessing strengths or skills you lack. For example, if you are very good at sales and marketing, it would be great, if your business partner is strong in HR or accounts. Otherwise, you both will be fighting for a spot under the sun in one area, instead of pulling all strings together to run a successful business. Business sometimes is a lonely journey, so ensure that your potential business partner can motivate you, challenge you, think “outside of the box” or just support you when things don’t go as they should.
Positive Attitude and Growth Mindset
Elif Mucan – Strengthts Coach and Co-Founder of “Stärken-Fokus” (Strenghts Focus)
There are basically a couple of qualities we look for in our business partners: a positive attitude, and a growth mindset. In recent years we have experienced various situations with business partners and have derived that these characteristics are fundamental to us at Stärken-Fokus.
I highly recommend to watch out for honest people with integrity. Once I have the slightest feeling that a person makes inconsistent or even contradictory statements I rather avoid business with them. Nothing good can come from a relationship where there is no transparency.
A positive attitude is also a very important driver in a relationship. It fosters trust so that everyone can focus on their part. However, if a business partner is sceptical and lacks confidence in the joint business, you start taking a defensive position. Your mind is busy all the time because you try to prove yourself and, eventually, can’t concentrate on adding value to your business partner. Thus, the relationship might get tense and you cannot perform at your very best if there is no positive attitude from the very beginning.
A positive attitude is also connected to being humble. In our business this is some kind of precondition. As we coach individuals and teams on their strengths we always look for the qualities that are already there and appreciate them. For some leaders this is unusual as they are used to spot weaknesses and always focus on ways to close these “gaps”. This is quite common and okay for us when we start conversations with a possible new client. But if we notice that the manager simply considers himself or herself as the greatest and the employees as inferior our decision is clear: this is not a person we would work with – at any price. We believe that nobody can estimate the growth potential of another person. Personal growth has no limits. It is something anyone can embrace who has the honest desire to become a better person tomorrow, who feels the desire to develop themselves to their full potential. We have experienced that managers or leaders who have a growth mindset are especially worthwhile business partners, as they often put a strong emphasis on developing the individuals in their team. And this is exactly where Stärken-Fokus comes into play: we help teams to grow so that every team member can perform at its best.
Nicole Beissler – Commercial Excellence Director at DS Smith from Offenbach, Hessen.
I am often asked, how to choose the right people for a team. If you build your own business and you grow at a point, you need to ask yourself the same question. Who can be the person I want to work with, whom would I trust to look after my “baby” … It’s not an easy question to answer because, like most relationships, the dynamics vary based on the personalities involved.
You should always ask yourself: Is the person trustworthy? Would I trust this person to take charge instead of me, when I am sick or on holidays. Can he or she decide on my behalf without hesitation? It’s easy to say, “Sure, I trust this person. She doesn’t lie, steal or cheat.” But it needs to go way deeper than that. Do you trust them enough to point out how you really feel about the mistake they made in front of the customer? Do you believe it, when the person apologies? And have you enough trust to let them deal with financials as well? There you go…
In all relationships it is crucial to have the confidence in talking very honestly. But when it comes to business, it is the MUST HAVE. If you are not able to have a respectful and honest conversation about a topic you are not sharing the same opinion on, you can straight away forget to work with that person. Some people are taking honesty too personal, but if you need to think each time, how to tackle a conversation, you spend too much energy on the wrong topic. Clearly there are far more signs to watch out for, but if these traits are already missing, better walk away! You´ll only end up in regrets and maybe even lost a friend or partner. Sometimes it’s better to look a bit longer, to find the perfect match, rather than taking the low hanging fruits.
Understand Yourself First
Johanna Frost – intermediate between farmers and coffee roasters and distributer of Peruvian and South American delicatessen chocolates – coffeebymishqui.com
When you are in the business adventure, following your passion with the driven force to succeed, you are only able to do it alone up to a certain point. When you start your own business, you are – among others- the sales person, the marketing expert and the accountant, which translates into sleepless nights and burnout (believe me!). The solution to all of this is to find a business partner or belong to a mastermind group which is defined by Napoleon Hill as “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose”.
I believe one of the most important things before looking for a business partner is to know ourselves first. Reflect on your believes and how you respond to different situations that life throw to us are among some of the question one should ask oneself.Check also which are your strengths and weaknesses, for this will help you to find an answer. It is important to know right from the beginning what and how big your goal is. This needs to be clear as water otherwise problems will arise when you least expect them. The differences you have need to be sorted right from the beginning. You will have failures, so you and your partner will need to have the hunger to persist at something until you achieve what you are looking for despite adversities. Complimentary trait make for the perfect combination in a business partner. If, by instance, you are a quiet and reserved person, it would be best if you have a business partner who is gregarious and extrovert as communication is an essential point in business. I find it important to look for a partner who irradiates the attitude of well-being and confidence.
Maaike Driessen Laverman –Personal Coach and Trainer for Energy Management
At this moment I prefer to work by myself on the content of my coaching, I am of my own business. That is my strength and specialty. However, there are some fields I wish not to concentrate on. I do know which direction I go and which questions to ask so that they support me in realising my goals. I love to work with sparring partners to learn from their different points of view and different ways of looking at things .So, what I look for in a business partner is knowledge that would add something good to my company, for example organization of the back office of a company, or something that I definitely outsource: IT and Finance, because that does not have my main interest nor is my field of knowledge. It is easy to hire other professionals for that, although I realise that I should always be the one in control because of risk management. I believe, that business partners also need to have positive and constructive energy. Most important is that we are complementary to each other, in that way we fill in each other’s good or less good qualities and competences and we grow together. Furthermore, I test possible business partners automatically on being trustworthy and loyal. I can best work with open minded people, with a healthy sense of humour. This brings the energy I have and I wish for in my company. I believe, that it is the best to work with people who have the same point of view on respecting each other. I truly believe, that even if business partners do not share the same opinion, the most important is: are willing to listen and comprise. The workload should be shared equally and, on each other’s specialty, and quality.