How to Find Great Business Partners for Your SME

We’ve all heard this before: “The road to success and the road to failure are almost the same”. Failure is not fatal, and sometimes you must fail before you can succeed, which may be the basis of your quest to secure a great business partner. Learning from business partnerships that have worked—and others that have failed—can be a good place to start.

Finding business partners that share similar markets to you can help you leverage your business, increase business profits, and expand your customer base. The problem is many business owners are scared off by the statistics; at least 50% of partnerships fail in the first 2-3 years! This statistic alone may scare you into staying solo, but Bartercard Australia has the insight to keep your partnership rock solid. Check out our tips below.

The Process of Choosing a Business Partner

Your business is incredibly important to you, so you want a partner who will approach your business with the same level of enthusiasm and commitment that they bring to their own, but who also shares the same business “parenting” philosophies. It’s wise to approach finding a business partner as seriously as you would a combination spouse/day-care provider. A partnership is a long-term, legal covenant between two (or more) people, and you will spend a lot of time planning major business events with your partner, so you need to get along with them.

A good business partner should have skills that support and compliment your own. No single person is a master of all things business. If you have great interpersonal skills but poor business finance skills, consider a partner who understands business accounting. The more skills you and your partner bring to the business together the easier it will be to start, plan, grow, and manage your business.

Do you have a similar vision and values?

This should be the starting point for any partnership—business or otherwise. Do you share the same vision for the future of your businesses? Are your values aligned? Too often, this conversation is glossed over, yet your vision and values are the heart of your business. Sharing similar values is imperative and a few basic questions in these early stages can save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

Keep your business partnership growing

Invest in education, do regular reviews, enlist a business coach, and explore new ideas. Ensure your partnership is evolving and not stagnating. Make sure you have a solid plan by investing in some external, professional support, and be sure to also plan for change. You should have supportive networks with whom you can reinforce and exchange ideas.

A healthy partnership should create something mutually beneficial for both parties, a synergistic relationship that is greater than the sum of its parts. If you don’t see this value in the partner you’re considering, consider other options

A common downfall of business partnerships is when one partner alleges to be putting in more effort than the other. There can be vastly different perceptions of the value of time and resources in any business, so this needs to be discussed upfront and reviewed regularly.

Bartercard brings businesses together

Getting your business model and systems right is essential for success. B2B networking, strategic partnerships and collaborations are all ways of attracting new customers. Get in touch to find out more ideas on how to bring more customers into your business and increase your cash flow.What makes a great business partner? Knowing who to align your business with is one of the more uniquely human challenges that business owners face. We offer some tips and tricks.


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