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Partnerships can be a difficult ship to steer

Partnerships can be a difficult ship to steer

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart R. Crawford
Success Creator
You Factor Inc.

Did this thought ever enter in your mind about a relationship or partnership? How did I ever get into business with these guys? How did I end up partnering with them? What do I have to do to get out of this relationship? These are normal thoughts that a lot of entrepreneurs, business owners and small business IT professionals deal with almost daily. Partnerships can be a very difficult ship to steer.

Getting into business with another person or entering into a partnership relationship with a bigger outfit or just the small IT firm down the street can be a great and very rewarding experience and it can also become one of the most stressful times of your life. Just like marriage, business relationships need to be nurtured, fed and contributed to by all parties involved, no one can be excluded. This includes those in your business and the vendors that you work with. Many times in business a partnership may appear to be one-sided, where one person feels like they are doing all the work or investing all the time and effort, this why some of the items below are very critical to the success of a partnership.

What can you do to ensure that everyone involved has a pleasurable partnership experience?

Date – Just like meeting the perfect match in your life, you will never rush into marriage, so don’t do this in your business relationships or partnerships. It is important that you have a dating period to feel each other out, learn about what each other offers, what strengths does the other party bring to the relationship and where there maybe some weaknesses. Also you need to make sure that everyone understands what you can bring to the table.

Show appreciation – Everyone has to feel like they contribute to the overall relationship. If you have business partners or a partnership with a vendor, all people in the relationship must feel like they are making a difference and that their contributions matter. Nothing will drive a partnership apart faster when parties in the relationship do not feel like they are contributing and making a difference and that they are appreciated.

Communications – Many great partnerships break down because of poor communications or a conceived indifference with regards to communications. When parties don’t communicate effectively, lots of thoughts and inconsistencies start to occur. It is critical that business partners communicate regularly. I recommend daily and that no secrets are kept from all parties. If you are unhappy with something, it is important to let the other party know right away, if a success comes then it needs to be communicated with all parties.

Exit Strategy – Every great partnership and business relationship must come to an end eventually. The exit strategy needs to be very clear from day one. What would happen if one person or party wishes to leave the partnership to pursue new things or even when a breakdown in the relationship occurs? What steps need to occur so that everyone can move on with their lives and businesses after the exit occurs by one person or a party in the partnership. It is not a bad thing to set the stage for the exit from day one.

Partnerships in business exist at all levels. Many professionals see partnerships just between individuals that go into business together and this is very true however partnerships go much deeper just some professionals starting a practice together. Many of these individuals join up with each other with dreams of creating something big and realize sometimes years into it that it was not a wise move and then some flourish and do create that company or relationship that sets a new precedence. This happens when individuals as well as companies work to make it work, partnerships are not a “set it and forget it” attitude. All parties need to be open to sharing, contributing and also celebrating all the victories that came their way in business.

Stuart Crawford freelance consults with You Factor Inc. helping Small Business IT Firms deliver their consulting services to their local market. Stuart has helped many IT partners throughout the world and he can help you win in today’s marketplace, sign up for his daily email of the day to help your business at He can be reached via email at or through his blog at

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