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7 Keys to Identifying an Ideal Partnership
In the world of small business, it seems there is often a common quest: to find the ideal business partner. Usually this stems from a need to “get rid of” the roles or tasks that we struggle with. Like marketing, finance or sales.
I know when I first started my business I was desperate to find a partner who was better at marketing and sales than I was. I was convinced that if I could get that off my back and just focus on being a great coach that my business would thrive! Well four years later, I never did find that partner but I did find a way to experience a thriving business.
I realized the value of marketing partners.
Marketing partners are other entrepreneurs who are willing to cross-market your products and services to their prospects and clients.
But there is still a catch. And it’s the same kind of catch that comes with any type of partnership – from marriage to business.
Not everyone is “ideal partner material.” It’s kind of like kissing a lot of frogs before you find your prince (or princess.) Sometimes you have to get clear on who you want to play in the sand box with so you don’t have to kiss too many frogs. So I thought I’d share with you my 7 Keys to Identifying an Ideal Partnership.
Partnership Mindset. Does this person really have what it takes to be a partner? Not everyone is cut out for it. As a matter of fact, some people make lousy partners because they are just too independent or they don’t like playing with others in their sandbox. It’s important to understand why someone is pursuing a partnership. Do they just want quick sales or are they really excited to align with your business long-term?
Alignment of Values. Knowing your top 3 values can help you clarify if you have what it takes for the long-haul. If one person’s core value is independence and the others’ is collaboration, it may make for a rocky approach to achieving the goal. This is particularly important if you are joint-venturing on a project deliverable.
Shared Vision. Do you share a passion for what the outcome looks like? Do you both see a similar outcome? Or does one person want to go off on their own opportunities and the other wish to have a long-term alliance. Have you ever known a married couple where one wants kids and the other doesn’t? Eventually they part ways. Sharing a vision of the desired outcome is important to keeping harmony in the relationship.
Compatible Work Styles. This is a biggie. Do you both envision working long, hard hours to accomplish the goals? Does someone have kids that require their attention first? Are you both willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done?
Complimentary Strengths. If you both love to do the same thing and no one wants to do the other stuff, then you will have work out how that gets done. Will you outsource it? Or will someone learn it? Make sure you are both qualified to do what your role is – or else it can lead to tension and frustration.
Just as you would take time to explore if your love interest would make good marriage material, I encourage you to take some time to explore if your fellow entrepreneur would make good “partner” material. There is nothing worse than finding out in the middle of your project that you don’t like doing business with the person.
Once you have explored the keys above and are ready to move forward, be sure to establish your working agreement (I even suggest having a contract.) If you follow the steps in the Unstoppable Goals Method together, you will find that you have a strong foundation to create “unstoppable” success together.
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