A strong partnership can make a tremendous impact the success of a business. The right partnership can boost the growth, development and profitability of any business venture.

In a business climate where 50% of small businesses fail by the fifth year, a strong relationship with your business partner is vital for long-term success. So, how can Tennessee business owners proactively develop dynamic and effective business partnerships?

Teamwork makes the dream work

The following are a few best practices for successful business partners:

  • Vision and mission. It is critical for partnerships to define the vision and mission of the business. If the overall objectives are not the same, problems are bound to arise. It can be useful to write a vision statement that outlines the partnership’s goals, purpose and philosophy. The most effective partnerships have an aligned vision from the earliest days.
  • Define roles and responsibilities. Lack of clarity around duties and responsibilities can be a source of frustration and disappointment in many partnerships. Even if job roles seem apparent, it is a smart idea for each partner to clarify in writing the tasks they will perform. This way, there is no room for misunderstanding, and you can both be accountable to yourselves, each other and the business.
  • Complementary strengths. Great partners have complementary skill sets and support one another. For example, one person might be good at the day-to-day operational elements of the company while the other has financial savvy for balancing budgets, or has a knack for advertising, promotion and public relations. One of the keys to a successful partnership is to capitalize on one another’s strengths.

Probably one of the most crucial factors for keeping a business partnership healthy is communication. Disagreements between business partners are bound to happen, and open lines of communication are the most effective way to handle them. Open and honest communication ensures that there are not any misunderstandings or misinterpretations.

Deciding on the person you want to form a partnership takes more than finding someone you get along with, or someone who thinks you have a great business idea. Do your business and leadership styles and ambitions align with yours? Are compatible and share a similar passion? Are you assured of their trust, commitment and reliability?