5 Signs Your Business Partnership is Built to Last

Building a good business partnership can be challenging but uniquely rewarding. This article goes over some signs your business partnership is on the right track.

You Complement Each Other

Business partners should complement each other in several ways. Different skill sets can be more useful when combined than two overlapping skill sets. Work schedules should be compatible, which doesn’t necessarily mean overlapping: Two people who work at different hours may be able to respond to problems throughout more of the day.

You Share a Vision

Business partners need a shared vision in order to be successful. Both should find equal satisfaction from the partnership and the goals it accomplishes. Absolute agreement on a business plan can help in this area. Also discuss how you will adjust if the business doesn’t meet its goals early on.

You Have Formal Understandings

Written, formal procedures and agreements are preferable to verbal agreements, even among friends or close professionals. Business partners should operate under a written statement that outlines their responsibilities, ownership, and rights. A written exit strategy is necessary as well: Due to any number of factors, one of you may need to leave. Such a document ensures fairness, and should be revisited occasionally.

You Trust and Communicate

As with any aspect of business, communication and trust between business partners is essential. If necessary, set up a regular schedule for when you and your partner will check in with each other, but ideally, you’ll communicate frequently regardless. Trust can be built over time, but if you don’t trust your partner from the outset, you should probably find a different partner.

You Understand Your Position

It won’t matter how well you and your partner work together if you misread the market for your goods or services or your ability to satisfy that market. According to Forbes.com, analysis using SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) is a good tool for assessing where your business and, by extension, your partnership stands.

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