Last week, we covered the fundamental requirements you need when deciding who will become your business partner, who essentially is someone you trust and can have transparent communication with. Below are the next three tips on how to nurture your business partnerships:
Even if you know the person well, getting legal agreements set up to document how you will both manage the business and what kind of investment and working relationship you’ll have is of paramount importance. This gives both of you a guideline to refer to if things get tricky or complex decisions need to be made. It’s very important you stick to your agreements while also openly communicating about things that are not working so you can make any necessary changes together along the way.
If you have a disagreement (and let’s be clear, you are bound to at some stage) remember you’re both on the same team. Put your heads together and nip it in the bud as quickly as possible – be prepared to compromise if necessary and appropriate. It’s also important to have a trusted and independent third party who can help you navigate disagreements if you need help. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Agree who this will be up front.
Go into the partnership and venture with the very best of intentions and have each others best interests at heart at all times.
Work with each other’s strengths and weaknesses
The beauty of Jemimah and I in business together is that our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other. What I lack, Jemimah has and vice versa. It’s this mix of strengths, skills and talents that takes our podcast business to heights that individually we probably wouldn’t achieve on our own in this particular venture. Yes, we drive each other a little bonkers at times, but mostly we love each other and we laugh about it a lot.
There’s a reason why Jemimah has taken the lead role of being “Chief Schmooze Operator” (that’s business development for those playing at home) and why I focus more on the bones of the business. This is where our strengths are and it works.
It’s important to take the time to learn what the strengths and weaknesses are in your partnership or venture. Allocate tasks or responsibilities according to strengths, figure out what you need to outsource or develop through training, coaching or mentoring.
Laughter is the best medicine
Jemimah and I work hard and laugh a lot along the way. It’s important to remember to take time out to connect with each other as friends or on a human level and ask how the other person’s life is going. Sometimes it can be so easy to become consumed in the day-to-day of business that you can lose track of each other. Take time out to do things together that are fun and help with growing your bond and relationship. This may involve, wine, coffee, mambo #5 at a karaoke bar (or was that just us?!) The activity itself doesn’t matter as long as you both enjoy it.
You might just find that spending time away from work together makes work even better and more fun.
Shevonne Joyce, Co-Founder, The Business Experiment