What makes for great business partnerships? A successful partnership? Partnerships offer a wealth of opportunities for growth – when they occur between the right businesses. To succeed, partnerships require more than complementary goals and audiences; partnerships can only thrive when their partnership managers themselves get along.
Business collaborations entail a merging of and collaboration between disparate teams from the partners, a process that demands a high level of confidence in personnel.
To discover the exact characteristics that make great business partnerships succeed, we surveyed business owners and partnership professionals around how they source partners and the qualities they require for collaboration. Their responses tended to fall into the four major categories below.
Given the complex nature of partnerships, trust is an integral factor in the initiation and continuation of all great business partnerships. Imagine how difficult it would be to trust a company with a track record of shipping faulty products or a history of bribing partners’ employees to take up positions at their firms (as happened recently between Uber and Carnegie Mellon University). If one partner is dubious of the other throughout a project, how much will the partners be able to accomplish? Not much.
2. Compatibility when creating great business partnerships
Many business characteristics need to mesh to create true compatibility and maximize the benefits of a partnership, including:
- Geographic locations
- Company cultures
These characteristics are used to not only vet appropriate partners in the initial search phase, but also to choose between final prospects.
3. Shared Vision and Clear Objectives
Common goals are important in partnerships, but at the end of the day each partner’s main objective is to improve their own business. More than shared goals, a shared vision and clearly communicated objectives are necessary to make great business partnerships succeed.
A shared vision can, for example, include improving opportunities for a certain population, supporting green living or more. We cover this topic more in depth here.
Transparency is the icing on the cake when aiming to develop great business partnerships. A shared vision and clear objectives need to be carefully discussed and shaped, a process that relies on the honesty and openness of all partners involved. When businesses are upfront about their agendas from the beginning, they are also likely to communicate when issues arise down the line and thereby provide an avenue for solutions.
Our survey respondents brought up interesting experiences and comments. In their own words:
What do you look for in a strategic partner? Let us know by tweeting to us at @Powerlinx.
Featured image by Esther Simpson