What’s Moses without Aaron? Steve Jobs without Wozniak? Michael Jackson without Quincy Jones? Fola Adeola without Tayo Aderinokun?
Many great businesses are built on a dynamic duo, a partnership, two people who, alone, are snowballs but together are an avalanche. Identifying a great partner in destiny for your business may be complicated but will give you fantastic leverage if you get it right.
These partnerships are like business marriages; and just like many marriages, some work and others don’t. It’s the same in such partnerships, when it works, it’s very assuring and rewarding too. A friend once shared a personal experience about the nitty-gritty, power and the potential dangers of a business partnership. The two friends were going to start this financial based business that will require a licence because the industry is heavily regulated.
Based on their pooled experiences, it’s an area they were very familiar with after all. They jointly have over two decades of experience and expertise in the industry. They had heard all sorts about partnerships and needed to get it right from the very beginning. The tales of woe from others made them cautious. So they looked for an existing and successful business partnership that they could learn from. Then they decided to visit the partners just to find out what was working for them.
The revelations were quite dramatic. Trust is bedrock for such partnerships. Your partner must be someone you trust. You can’t afford a mindset of “one person is giving or doing more than the other”. This breeds contempt and a feeling of being cheated. There, also, has to be a shared vision. Two people can’t work together except they both have a measure of agreement. A common focus to channel both energy and resources into.
In great partnerships, both partners bring resources to the table. It may be a strength/competence, diverse experiences, money, network, specialized skills and expertise. A partner is an asset. They must demonstrate high levels of professionalism and maturity, this should be grafted into the very core of the business. Partners must avoid undue interference by spouses & family members. Partnership can’t work on sentiments & emotion alone.
A partner’s personal expectations and needs must be discussed. People go into partnerships for different reasons and with certain expectations at the back of their mind. Once these expectations are not met, human negative emotions set in and that can quickly polarize the team. There has to be better ways of handling disappointment, frustrations and disagreements. Be guided by legal frameworks and agreements. It will save you potential heartaches in the future. Legal tussle is a distraction for any business.
So, depending on the level you’ve attained in business and the reason for which you need a partner, you must be cautious and deliberate, because your partner will either make or mar your business.