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Partnerships - they're like marriage

Partnerships - they're like marriage

Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes

Many times we have discussions with people about going into business with someone, or bringing someone into an existing business.

It got me thinking about how it is that people go about selecting their business partners.

Being in a partnership is like a marriage.

It’s an interesting process to go through.  There may be employees who "come through the ranks" and “make partner”.  This is business by default.  Often not much thought goes into the individual, what they will be doing and how they will be doing it. As a result of this very weak selection process there can be a glut of partners who are overpaid employees!

Another way a partnership starts is by a merger.  But don’t get me started on mergers.  It seems like a good idea at the time.   Bit like that 17th bourbon.  However, in most cases you just end up with more of the same.

Here is a 21 point checklist of the ideal business partners. See how many you can tick off for your current partners!  Likewise keep this list in mind if youre considering a partnership or merger.

  1. Brings something to the table – complements existing partners
  2. Is a good cultural fit in the business
  3. Is a good communicator at the partner level
  4. Is a good communicator with team members
  5. Is a good communicator with clients and customers
  6. Is stable – emotionally and financially
  7. Is profit and growth motivated
  8. Has a good work ethic
  9. Is reasonably fit and healthy
  10. Is at the same stage in life mentally
  11. Shares similar values and ethics
  12. Has an ability to respect other partners
  13. Knows what they want – goal orientated
  14. Is supportive of new ideas
  15. Is flexible in their thoughts and actions
  16. Is a good business builder
  17. Is fun to be with
  18. Shares the vision
  19. Walks the talk not just talks the talk
  20. Acts in the best interests of clients, customers and the business at all times
  21. Can bring in new business.

If your partners don't stack up then maybe you need a divorce? I know I don’t!


Thanks to Rob Nixon for the R&D

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