Over the past several decades, I've had the opportunity to start various ventures as well as manage partnerships on behalf of corporations as well while working for brands like Sears, Staples, and ProFlowers. The truth is that you can't achieve success on your own. The key is in aligning yourself with the right people as well as the right brands where you can work together towards greatness.
Let’s face it, starting your own business can be difficult enough as it is. Between hiring a staff, marketing and advertising a product or service, and taking care of the bills needed to remain in business, there is enough stress to go around. However, if you are the type of business that currently is or may be partnering up with another company in the future, you also need to do some research on who they are and what they stand for.
Whether you agree with it or not, we are each entitled to an opinion. While some are quicker to voice what they are thinking than others, it doesn’t take long to draw attention. If you are in business with a company that others do not think too highly of, it’s possible for your name to easily be brought into the mix.
Have You Done Background Checks and Research?
Due to all this, it may be in your best interest to do research on a company or business that your prospective partner might have been associated with, before deciding to formalize a partnership. While I wouldn’t suggest taking to many people’s opinion to heart without an ample explanation, there’s nothing wrong with listening to what is being said and then using that knowledge to make a judgement.
Keep an open ear, but also keep two open eyes. You can learn more about any given business at websites such as this in regards to their history. By looking into the background of a business, you are able to get a better understanding of what they stand for, what they are trying to accomplish behind the scenes, and how important their ethics are as a corporation. There are also plenty of similar sites to look up a person's history such as Linkedin and background check websites using public records as well.
Once you have acquired a better insight on the partner, you will be better prepared to weigh the good vs. the bad, creating a clearer image of what could result from the partnership.
Being successful in business can be tricky, especially when trying to go at it alone. That being said, the last thing want to do is to further complicate matters by making a bad decision with costly consequences from the actions of someone else. This isn’t an attempt to scare you from future opportunities. This article is merely intended to help you better research opportunities as they become available.
Are They Personally and Ethically Aligned With You?
While some aspects of business are cut and dried - you either made money or you didn't - others are more personal. This is someone who you are about to create a relationship with that in some ways might even be as personal and intimate as the one with your spouse. Each person is different though and you need to make sure that your partner has a compatible style for the way you like to do business. For instance, take an example of athletes who find themselves in one form of trouble or another. In itself, that isn't necessarily a bad thing - but if you are uncomfortable with the attention not always being positive then that could cause issues. Even things as personal as someone being divorced or single can have a significant impact in the way you work together to grow the business. While you can't discriminate on marital status, there is a difference in the way people can allocate your time and you need to take everything into consideration since this is more than just a simply hiring decision.
How Do They Talk About and Treat Previous Partnerships?
Like dating, virtually all relationships come to an end. As a result, one of the biggest tests I have for a prospective partner is examining how they talk about their previous partnerships. You want someone who is still respectful of previous relationships but 100% focused on working with you to create an incredible future for your business.
Know Your Own Goals and Focus on Those Objectives!
While it might be exciting to enter into a partnership with a dynamic partner, it is absolutely critical to remember that this is not some rosey fun in the sun relationship - no matter how good it feels at the time. While there will need to be comprimises, you must focus on achieving your own objectives and never lose sight of your own goals. Partnerships need to be mutual and you should be benefiting more than you are giving up.