Building a Business Partnership That Lasts
When you go into a business partnership, there are often good reasons you’ve chosen your partner: perhaps they have a complimentary skillset or unique access to your target market. Whatever the case, the reasons you’ve chosen your business partner do not always guarantee a lasting relationship. If this were true, partnerships would succeed far more often than they do.
But it is interesting to think about: building a lasting partnership requires more than just finding a partner with the proper set of complementary business skills to create a competitive business. Ultimately, what defines whether many partnerships succeed, or fail is not the skill of the partners involved, but rather the presence, or lack thereof, of the properly defined roles and obligations for each partner.
Key Things to Keep in Mind When Building a Partnership to Last
Ultimately, every partnership is unique with a unique set of circumstances, goals, requirements, and challenges. In order to build a partnership that can succeed over the long term, consider the following:
What Business Goals Do You and Your Partner Have in Common? Are There Any Conflicts?
It’s just not wise to assume the vision you have for the business is the same your potential partner has. The best time to figure out if you share compatible visions is up front before too much time or money has been invested. For example, you may be looking to build an aggressively competitive business that is willing to take strategic risks in order to grow. If your potential partner is fundamentally risk-averse, you need to know this as soon as possible or problems lie ahead.
What Responsibilities Does Each Partner Expect to Have?
A business that lasts is one that runs efficiently. This is not going to happen without clearly defined roles for each partner. Furthermore, these roles must be agreed to so that there is not too much overlap. So real questions like who is in charge of marketing and who runs the back office should be discussed and agreed to up front.
Use a Business Attorney to Draft a Solid Partnership Agreement
This really is the best advice I can give. By asking an experienced business attorney to help you and your potential partner(s) draft agreements that cover everything important to your business ahead of time, you can potentially avoid many of the pitfalls that have sabotaged many promising partnerships in the past. The bottom line is that if it’s worth your time and money, it’s worth using a partnership agreement and the best time to do that is up front – before habits have been formed and expectations set.
Drafting a strong partnership agreement that can ensure your business enjoys a long and profitable life is only one of the things a qualified business attorney can do for your partnership. If you’d like to learn more or have any other questions about business partnerships and/or partnership agreements, call Stephen Rizzieri at 214.434.1017 or fill out the form on our site today.