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Why do you need a partner in business?

When I started this post I had the title as “Why do you need a partner?”. I realized it would set different expectations  for different people. I knew I was going to talk about business/professional partnerships. Hence, I changed it to what it is now.

The reason I started down this path was a presentation I had to do at work this morning. We have been partnering with a vendor for over the last couple of years and have made some investments in the partnership in terms of money, time and resources. There was a point where we thought it probably isn’t getting us enough benefits to continue to invest in this partnership anymore. However, we wanted to take a pragmatic approach to this. So, we thought let’s review where we are, identify ways to make it work and despite these efforts if it doesn’t, then we can call it quits.

Just like I tried with my title for this post, I think it is key to set the right expectations when it comes to partnerships and alliances. While I do not want to get into the technicalities of partnerships, alliances and other such relationships and their nature, I thought I’d put down a list of things that would deliver value from relationships:

Value : There should be value that both the partners are bringing to the table. Be it investment, Experience, Resources or in any other form.

Benefits: There should be mutual benefits out of the relationships. As many of us might have experienced, irrespective of how binding the contract for the partnership would be, it just would not work if either party realizes there isn’t enough for them in that relationship.

Trust: Both the parties should trust each other and believe that the other party is working towards a mutual benefit and not its own.

Time: Both parties need to give the relationship some time to mature and start yielding results. Just because you signed a piece of paper or paid a fee doesn’t make you both tick instantaneously. Underneath all of it is people who are interacting and collaborating with people and while I am no expert at commenting on human relationships, I can definitely say that it takes time for those to mature.

There could be multiple other factors that would influence a partnership, but I thought these are the four fundamental pillars on which partnerships should be built on so they can flourish. While every partnership may not start with all these four aspects covered in equal parts, but I am confident that they will flourish once they all strike a balance in the relationship.

While the title is “Why do you need a partner in business?”, which I think might be obvious for most of you, I thought it is important to highlight what makes these partnerships tick.

As always, your feedback and comments are welcome.

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