The #1 Key to Successful Business Partnerships

We’ve all heard stories of business partnerships going sour. For every success story, we seem to hear 10 more where some sort of arrangement, trust, or decision-making went south and the partnership, or in some cases the entire business, dissolved as a result.

These telltale stories can make people feel uneasy about entering a partnership. Business can be complicated enough, and it’s true that partnerships can sometimes add more complexity to the mix.

But, fret not. Business partnerships can be successful! Many businesses have thrived not in spite of a partnership, but because of it! 

In most cautionary tales of business partnerships not ending amicably, there’s often a single, underlying reason: a lack of transparency.

That’s right, by avoiding a few common mistakes and taking a couple of extra steps, you and your partner can enter (or further grow) a transparent, successful, and profitable relationship together.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Communicate! 

This may seem straightforward, but a lack of communication is a massive obstacle in creating and developing a successful partnership.

Making decisions or doing things without knowledge of partners, even if innocuous, can erode trust. It can cause the other party to feel uneasy about the relationship if they think things are happening “behind their back.” 

Even if it seems like a minor or trivial matter, err on the side of caution and communicate effectively to ensure alignment with your partner.

  1. Don’t Work Without Agreements

Verbal agreements aren’t good enough. 

A partnership should have a clear, documented, and legally binding agreement that clearly outlines all parameters of the business arrangement. 

Even if you’re already deep into a business partnership, it’s never too late to draft one up.