Tips for Successfully Partnering With Another Business

Dec 11, 2012

Everyone’s heard that you have to spend money to make money, but it’s understandable that you may be wary about investing in new employees, equipment or work space in a still-shaky economy.

To keep up with increasing demand, partnering with another small business and utilizing their assetts could be a wise option, according to Nadia Goodman, who interviewed experts on the topic for an Entrepreneur.com article.

“In a tough economy, growing your business doesn’t have to involve costly new hires or expensive acquisitions,” Goodman wrote. “Instead, teaming up with another small business might be your best solution. Successful teaming relationships can help you gain experience, offer a more comprehensive service, or take on bigger contracts.”

Goodman and her experts shared the following six tips on developing a successful partnership with another business.

1. Be honest about your weaknesses. “When you’re teaming, you’re looking for someone who will be right next to you,” Michelle Thompson-Dolberry, an advisor on small business growth for American Express OPEN, told Goodman. “You have to be open about what you really bring to the table.”

2. Be open to teaming with competitors. “Most businesses look for partners that offer a service they don’t, but your best asset may actually be your competition,” Goodman wrote. “Together, you could offer a more comprehensive service or tackle a bigger project.”

3. Set clear parameters at the beginning. “Agree on logistics, as well as a game plan for potential problems, such as a client who doesn’t pay or a dispute you can’t resolve,” she wrote. “That preparation will give you a framework for resolving any issues down the line.”

4. Keep written records of everything. “To make sure everyone stays on the same page, write everything down,” Goodman wrote. “The notes will clarify any confusion and give you a written record if anything goes awry.”

5. Watch out for red flags. “To vet potential partners, make sure they reply to e-mails in a timely fashion, arrive on time, and follow through,” she wrote. “Ultimately, trust your gut, just as you would when hiring a new employee.”

6. Be fair. “Last but not least, always treat your teaming partner fairly,” Goodman wrote. “Your success is contingent on your ability to work together, so having their best interests at heart will serve you, too.”

To read the complete Entrepreneur.com article, click here.