Often small businesses and startups enter into partnerships for various reasons. The partnership may be a short-term legal requirement or could also be a long-term project to bring something new to the market or to your suite of services.
The importance of clearly defining the terms and goals of a partnership lies in enabling smoother decision-making. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when you define the goals of your partnership:
1. Brainstorm on what your goals are: Your business has its own unique goals, whether it is to get more users to test your product, build awareness around your brand or find investors willing to invest in your business. Evaluate your priorities and set them with your partner’s priorities. Set separate goals: one set of goals for the company and one for both partners, this will help both parties clarify expectations. Create a clear mission and vision for your business.
2. Clearly define job roles: Document your job roles clearly, so that there is complete clarity on the scope of work for each partner’s role in the business. Lack of proper insight into each other’s roles is a major source of frustration in many business partnerships. Defining your roles also builds accountability and trust, so that all major functions of the business are divided properly.
3. Build on and utilize core strengths: Ensure that you analyze and recognize the core strengths of each partner that can go on to play a huge role in the company’s success and stability. Capitalizing on strengths will also lead to higher motivation, and contribute to innovation and collaboration in the partnership.
4. Take up challenges and disagreements early on: The key to keeping the partnership going is to foster healthy relationships with transparency when it comes to the company. Settle any disagreements or differences of opinion at the outset so as not to let any bad feelings fester over time. Neglecting or ignoring problems can lead to feelings of mistrust that could colour all your interactions.
5. Address both partners’ needs: Partners have certain goals and reasons for being in a partnership. It’s important to ensure that these are addressed right at the outset. Share expectations and have a plan to review them every few months to reassess the partner’s views and needs.
6. Understand one another’s limitations: There may be certain areas of work that one partner may not be inclined towards or may not have the necessary skills for. These could be in any area from finance to strategy, so it’s better to sit down and take stock of these well in advance to anticipate any need for outside help. A partnership venture has many advantages and is a great way to get into a new business category or establish a startup.
Defining your partnership goals and expectations clearly will help immensely in setting a strong foundation for your business.