When I speak on partnerships (www.RShawnMcBrideLive.com), I often get a lot of eye rolls. People say, “Partnerships, yes I know about partnerships. I’m just going to avoid them.” Or “Partnerships are bad.” Or “Partnerships lead to trouble.”
But then I look to companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google and so many of my clients that had been successful over the years by using partnerships. What is the difference? What defines a successful partnership versus a partnership that struggles?
The difference is getting the right partner. Spend the time and energy to make sure that you are working with the right partner rather than just jumping into a partnership. Many people see a partnership as a way to divide work or to move responsibility around, and it is. If that is the prime reason in engaging in a partnership, just because you need a second set of eyes or just because you do not want to do everything in your business, you are probably going to have trouble with the partnership.
However, if you build your partnership based on synergies, based on differential skill sets, based on understanding and chemistry, then you can have a successful partnership where you can bring different skills together. The clients that I have that are successful as partners so often talk about synergies and talk about how working together is better than working alone and how they can do more together than they can do alone.
The key lesson when you are picking a business partner is picking the right partner. Be strategic about it. Make sure there are reasons why you are going to be partners. Do not pick a partner just for the sake of having a partner. Pick a partner because it is the right person, because it is the right direction for your business, because it makes you better, and because one plus one equals three.
What has been your experience with business partners? Has it been good, bad, or ugly? What would you do differently in the future? How do you pick your partners? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Griszka Niewiadomski.
About the Author
Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.rshawnmcbridelive.com/3laws ), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 418-0258.
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