7 Things The Right Business Partner Will Do
The term 'business partner' can have a wide range of meanings, with one of the most frequent being a person who, along with another person, plays a significant role in owning, managing, or creating a company (two best friends who start a business together would consider themselves business partners). The term is also frequently used for two businesses that cooperate, to any degree, such as a computer manufacturer who works exclusively with another company who supplies them with parts.
A business partner is a commercial entity with which another commercial entity has some form of alliance. This relationship may be a contractual, exclusive bond in which both entities commit not to ally with third parties.A legal form of business operation between two or more individuals who share management and profits. ... In a general partnership, the partners manage the company and assume responsibility for the partnership's debts and other obligations. A limited partnership has both general and limited partners.
The role of a business partner is to help and guide the business through projects, not to pander to their every need while panicking to get things done in an unreasonable timescale and risking delivery of sub-standard solutions.
All too often, business partners are pandering to the business, putting unreasonable demands on their teams and expecting high quality in less time than is needed; complaining when expectations are not met.
So, what does it take to be a good business partner while still supporting the business effectively?
As a business partner, it is your responsibility to work closely with the business to help them understand the approach that will be taken for their project, the amount of work needed, and the complexity of that work. They do not need to understand every detail, but they do need to appreciate the effort and skills required to complete any given task.
1. Unique Skill Sets
One of the most common mistakes made when an individual seeks to form a partnership with another is they essentially look for a “clone.” This is a mistake. Keep in mind each partner should bring a set of unique skills into the partnership.
Ideally, each partner will have skills which “compliment” the skills of the other partner. Example; one partner might be good with tasks, so the other should have strong people skills. This way the partnership can effectively overcome many management and decision-making challenges.
2. He Will Be Flexible
Although partners should possess unique skill sets it should in no way form a hierarchy of responsibility. There are skill sets which all competent business people possess, and each partner should utilize them when required. Flexibility is much an attitude as it is a mode of behavior.
The need for partners to be spontaneous, flexible and fluid is generally caused by workload demand. So having the right attitude and following it up with action when the workload demands it will allow partners to meet challenges successfully.
3. He Will Be Honest
Letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing, is important in a business partnership. It is not only important for taking effective action, but for keeping the relationship on solid footing. Where most partners get into trouble is when it comes to giving bad news to the other partner, because they don’t want to do it. Understandably, giving bad news to the other partner is hard, however open and honest communication in a business partnership requires it, whether it is good news or bad.
4. Equal Standards
When developing a successful business partnership it is essential partners share equal standards. These generally include work ethics, quality standards, and acceptable business practices to name a few.
Standards are like the oars of a boat, and when both partners are rowing in the same direction their destination can be reached more smoothly. If the partners have standards which are polar opposites they will be working against each other, which could affect not only the health of the partnership, but the health of business enterprise too.
5. He Will Respect You
The primary value of a successful business partnership is established by the genuine respect partners have for one another. Each partner values the knowledge, skill and experience of the other. They show tremendous consideration and admiration for each other too.
When people ask about the business the first thing mentioned is the other partner, and the contribution they have made toward the success of the business. Fostering and expressing respect for each other allows them to weather the difficult times, and to enthusiastically celebrate the good times as well.
6. He Know How To Negotiate
In any relationship there is going to be a need to negotiate, and business partnerships are no different. It is a fact there may be times when you just will not see eye-to-eye with your partner. This is where the willingness to negotiate a plan and move forward becomes critical.
Now many think negotiation means compromise, but it need not, and should instead center on what is needed to work together cooperatively, and move forward. Remember, partners do have to work together harmoniously and effectively, it doesn’t mean they have to agree on everything.
7. He Will Be Open Minded
No one partner should think they have all the skills or knowledge needed to launch the business into the stratosphere. If they did there would be no need for the partnership in the first place. Yes, there will be times when one partner has the appropriate skill set and takes the lead. In these cases the other partner will have to play a supporting role, and learn some new skills. Successful business partnerships are where each partner is willing to learn from the other, and assume a supportive role when necessary.
Business partnerships are as individual as the ventures which utilize them, and so we’d like to hear about the unique features of your business partnership. As this article presents 7 qualities which have worked for others we would also be interested in your partnership experience, and ideas.
In conclusion, business partnering is not about jumping when the business shouts, but working together collaboratively to achieve the best possible results.