Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur the collaborators are his.
If you own 100% of your business, you are making a big mistake. Finding the right partners has allowed me to start and scale several companies at once. Without strong partners, it would have a mediocre company instead of multiple high-growth companies.
In 2019, Forrester conducted a study on how companies around the world are using partnerships “to drive a competitive advantage”. The results indicated that 77% of companies considered partnerships to be key to their business strategies and initiatives.
We have all been burned by bad partners and failed collaborations. Don’t let this deter you from all the benefits that come from big partnerships. All the good of my life, both professionally and personally, has come in collaboration with partners. I was lucky enough to start life as a twin, my integrated partner to do it all. As a result, I have spent my life learning to be a good couple and living the partnership model.
Book Rocket fuel, by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, teaches the importance of having a visionary and an integrator, two different people, in order to scale companies successfully. “When these two people share their natural talents and their innate skill sets, they have the power to reach new heights for virtually any business or organization.”
Related: Everything you need to know about trade associations
Find the right partner
There are some basic things to look for when considering an association. Obviously, you just want to partner with someone who is honest, committed, and aware of their contributions. However, the hard truth is that you won’t know how successful your partnership was until you saw your people create their own partnerships.
When you become a parent, you make long-term investments without seeing much ROI or testing that works for 20-30 years. Only when your children become parents themselves, and you see them as parents of their own children, do you get an idea of how well you have done. Only then will you be able to know if a positive cycle will continue and if there will be more generations of success coming from you.
Similarly, you can start many businesses and even find partners to run them, but you don’t really know that you’ve managed to start a generational business until your people create their own businesses. Then, as a grandparent, you can rejoice in their success and give them support and advice when they need it (but not too much, more like a wise grandfather who knows when to restrain himself).
If you can’t know for sure if your partnership will be successful in advance, what might you be looking for? I have realized that the best partners are the ones who live to see others succeed. This selflessness in a couple will eventually manifest in the way they treat you.
Author and psychologist Sherrie Campbell wrote: “Successful partnerships are based on service, not selfishness … The collaborative effort comes directly from the efforts of each individual partner who contributes to the whole. in the mind of service, in the help of others, he keeps the association humble. “
Another good thing to keep in mind when looking for a partner is that trade associations don’t have to be 50/50. In fact, most of these equally divided associations I have observed have failed. Decisions can be easily blocked when parties disagree but have the same “voting rights”.
There is no doubt that each partner contributes differently and to different degrees, albeit slightly. There is never a perfect division. In addition, the value a person can bring to the table can change over time. Having frank conversations with partners throughout your partnership, from start to finish, is the only way to mitigate possible feelings of resentment or inequality.
Related: 5 features to look for in a business partner
Collaboration in action
Another key couple in my life has been my wife, Kim. Although marriage and business partnerships are uniquely different, I have found that many aspects that improve marriages also improve business relationships. In many ways, a business association could also be called a business marriage.
Perhaps no one knows what marriage is like in a business association than those associated with life and business. Jordan and Jessa Maddocks became the co-founders of the JessaKae women’s clothing brand in 2016, shortly after they got married. Ever since they started a business together from their own basement, Jordan and Jessa have learned a thing or two about what a healthy business and a married couple entails. They agree that communication is key.
According to Jordan, “When something goes wrong, you can usually point it out at a time when someone made an assumption, or where the communication could have been clearer. So even if you sometimes feel like you’re hitting a dead horse, It’s always better to over-communicate. And then listen. After that, be clear about what the overall goals are. “
Jordan and Jessa have also learned about the power of partnerships from their experience with external partners, such as celebrities and social media influencers. These partnerships have given JessaKae access to local, larger-sized women’s communities that the brand has become passionate about.
Related: Are Life Partners Good Business Partners?
Associations come in all shapes, sizes and shapes. Some are big and some are small. Some are long-term and some short-term. Whatever happens, strive to find the partner that allows you to focus on what you do best and then do the same for them.
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