Partnerships are a great avenue for small businesses to increase their visibility as well as reach audiences they would otherwise have been unable to reach. A successful partnership needs to be of value to the parties involved. For this to be achieved, the partners have to observe the following:-

Have same goals and values

Each side needs to be clear on what they want, then come to a mutual understanding of how each partner is to be satisfied. This does not necessarily mean that you perfectly rhyme, but if the parties are not clear on why the partnership is necessary, conflicts and misunderstandings are bound to arise. If either party cannot commit to making the other successfully, reconsider getting into the partnership.

Define commitments and expectations before committing

Right from the onset of the business partnerships, each partner’s role, contribution and the time they are to put in need to be defined. Anticipate changes and mutually agree on how such changes will be handled. Define each party’s responsibilities and establish how failure to deliver will be handled.

Come up with a conflict resolution process

You need to establish a process through which misunderstandings and conflicts will be handled. Consider mediation and arbitration as opposed to conventional litigation procedures that are more often than not costly.

Separate principal contributions from on-going ones

Contributions are a major source of conflict in business partnerships. Come up with a pre-determined formula of how much each partner is to get from the realized profits to ensure equity and fairness.

Develop a clear decision-making process

Simply because the business is a partnership does not mean that all decisions will be unanimous. Most business partnerships find it worthwhile to involve third parties in the decisions making process. This has a two-fold purpose: it gives you an extra opinion and ascertains that your decisions conform to external standards.

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