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 In Start-Up Guide

While business partnerships are defined in multiple ways ultimately all these definitions boil down to the same idea – a partnership is about two or more entities working side by side in a structured way to reach the same goals and desired outcome. Finding the right business partnerships for your start-up is imperative.

There are some entities that will always vary:

  • The nature of the entities working together can and will differ.
  • The structuring of the relationship may be diverse and
  • The desired outcome could differ.

The ground rules of great startup business partnerships need some solid foundations:

All great partnerships are borne out of solid foundations. There will always be numerous issues to address when establishing the ground rules for a start-up business partnership which should include:

  • The roles that the partners need to play: this will include who does what in the partnership and how each party will be held accountable for their individual commitments.
  • Communication is important: how you and your partner communicate with each other is significant. If communication breaks down you need to find a way of overcoming this challenge to ensure your start-up is not affected.
  • Media and your pending partnership: take a careful look into how talking to the media will affect your partnership and how this information should be disclosed. 
  • What happens in a crisis situation: you need to clarify how a crisis needs to be dealt with and which partner is responsible for the different roles. In this instance – it needs to be made clear which partner has the decision-making power. 
  • Ethical issues: there needs to be a plan of action in place regarding ethical issues. 

As you embark on a business partnership there are a couple of things that you can do to significantly enhance the likelihood that the partnership will succeed – as a matter of fact a business partnership is not dissimilar to a partnership of marriage.

Here are a couple of secrets that make for a great startup partnership:

  • Self-awareness is imperative. Appreciate and accept that everyone has their own set of talents, weaknesses and skills.
  • Clarity is key at all times to ensure that a message is conveyed correctly. This is particularly important when it comes to explaining what you need from your employees. 
  • Freedom of feedback is important – ensure that everyone who works for and with you is able to come clean and be completely upfront and honest about everything.
  • Hire the best at the top and never, ever feel threatened by talent.
  • Always love the business and the journey more than the money to ensure true success.

When it comes to managing and choosing partnerships for your start-up business, remember that if you don’t seek out allies and helpers you will not only become isolated but you will also become weak.

This quote has been taken from the Ancient Book of the Huainan Masters “Those who establish adaptable formations will survive even if they are small. While those who establish unadaptable formations shall perish even if they are large”.

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