8 Tips To Find The Best Fit Partner (Pt.2)

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In this follow up article we'll walk you through tips businesses should consider when seeking the best fit partner to grow and expand. Don't miss them!

Partnering has become increasingly necessary for most businesses as a strategic way to expand and access markets beyond their immediate reach. After mergers and acquisitions, forming partnerships is potentially among the most preferred options for expansion among small and medium sized businesses due to the increasing benefits for growing a business through collaborations, especially when the right fit is found.

In the last post I shared with you four out of eight factors to consider as a business is looking for potential partners to work with. Let’s walk through the next set to help businesses find the best fit to hitch the right kind of partnership to enable them pursue their growth strategy.

Here is the next set of what to look out for in finding the right partner.

5. Trust

This is a must, for any relationship to thrive and succeed. Irrespective of the many advantages a potential partner may be bringing to the table, if you are uncomfortable or struggling to trust the character of the owner or key management at the helm of the business, its practices or claims, either by available facts or even just a hunch, it is very important to seriously reconsider your position. A business’s relationship that is established on trust has every potential to thrive and weather any storms or difficulties along the way.

6. Credibility

This is a great asset to any business. There is nothing like being regarded and seen as a credible business organization or person in your industry. A potential partner with an established credibility or reputation in the market, industry connections, clientele base, quality business networks, right credentials and expertise will positively impact the value of your business and improve your chances of achieving success in the long term. The credibility of both parties is exceptionally important to consider, without it, you might be placing your business in a very precarious position, which is completely opposite why you sought the partnership in the first place.

7. Respect

A very important point not to compromise on. You should only partner with someone you respect and whose input you value highly and vice versa. Even in the case of potential minority and majority stakes in the business, that is where you are the minority partner, respect should still be present to make the partnership work efficiently and effectively. This means you should only partner with someone you respect and value their input, and they must equally see you as a valuable contributor to the success of the collaboration. Anything less than that may result in a dysfunctional relationship. This will only work against the success of the partnership.

8. Conflict Resolution

Yes. It is exactly as you see it. Given that differences are bound to arise in any relationship – including business relationships – it is necessary to partner with someone you can sit down with to resolve any issues that may arise along the way, because disagreements are inevitable in almost all relationships. It is the only way to effectively manage any misunderstandings, without an outright ‘blow up’ at the least opportunity. Of course, in some cases it may take some time before such issues come out. For instance, basic issues in the initial stages of the discussions to work together, such as arguments over meeting times, lack of a sense of responsibility and accountability, unnecessary figure pointing, inability to accept faults and apologize for mistakes, can all be indicators of what is to come. If these basic issues keep arising and you are unable to resolve them, it should serve as a warning as to the ability of both parties in managing or resolving problems in the course of the project or running of the business.

Once again, I must stress that partnerships are one of the great ways to grow and expand a business. Seeking them, however, not every person or organization is a good fit. Let the above pointers guide you to getting the most of any potential partnership relationship.

I wish you all the best in your decision to grow your business through partnership. Whatever you do, it is important to have an exit strategy in place right from the onset before a partnership agreement is signed, after finding the right match. Often times, at some point in the future, a partner may want to leave the business, especially if it is a long term one and not a project based or time bound partnership. Agreeing in advance on such terms as whether one will buy the other out, find a replacement or the business will have to close down entirely, when a partner decide to leave the business, must be clearly addressed and stated.



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