Taking on a new business partnership is a significant step in the development of any company. There are several questions and considerations to take into account along the way, many of which are easy to overlook.
From selecting one of the top e-commerce fulfillment companies and a reliable marketing team to bringing on investors or launching a new division of the company, each project and partnership requires a thoughtful approach and skilled planning.
The results of failing to consider these and other questions before bringing on a business partner or trusted vendor could be operationally and financially disastrous – for both your business and your customers. So, let’s dive into the top five questions you should ask before bringing on a new business partner.
1. Will Their Involvement Save You Time?
Bringing on a partner for your business should free up time by allowing you to delegate certain tasks and obligations. They should be coming on board in a supportive role that will both propel the business forward and enable you to get more done in a day.
Don’t think only in terms of a partner who invests in exchange for a share of the business. If you’re an online store, you may decide to bring in one of the top e-commerce fulfillment companies to handle order storage, packing, and shipping on your behalf. This would allow you to focus on tasks that only you can do.
2. Will Their Involvement Compliment Your Strengths and Weaknesses?
It’s often joked about that “If I could just clone myself, I could get a lot more done.” But remember, a clone will come along with your precise weaknesses as well as your strengths. With this in mind, it’s important to look for traits and skills in a partner that you do not possess. Knowing how each one of you operates as separate individuals and how those skills complement each other is critical to successful communication and operations.
3. Will Their Involvement Bring Financial Stability?
When your business is in need of an injection of capital, choose wisely to ensure your new partner will be a strong match. Many will want to simply throw money into a new venture and sit back, waiting for their return on investment.
If you want someone to work alongside you to grow and scale the business, you need a partner who will invest time and practical support as well as money. Be willing to get creative with financial arrangements and plan for a long-term partnership.
4. Will Their Involvement Help Drive Big-Picture Business Goals?
Ensure the person or provider you’re considering is in it for the long haul. You don’t want someone who is looking to make an investment, recover their money as quickly as possible, and then bail on the whole operation.
Look for someone who shares your vision for the brand – someone who wants to be around to witness the success of everything you have built together.
5. Are They Easy to Work With?
This is the most important question of them all. Working with someone on a daily basis requires a specific kind of synchronization and compatibility that doesn’t come naturally to many. Try out a few test projects with the prospective partner or provider to get a clear understanding of what it’s like to work with them.
How well do they communicate? How do they handle negative feedback? How do they interact with other members of the team? How do they work with customers? Evaluate your findings and let this inform your final decision.
Work through these questions, and you’ll be better placed to establish positive professional relationships.