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A Beginner’s Guide to Building and Maintaining Business Partnerships

Owning and running a business can be tricky and exhausting sometimes. It can become stressful when you have to make swift decisions and be prompt in acting on them. Amidst all this, there will be times when all you will be thinking about and working on is your business, and have minimal to no time to spend with your family and friends. 

While choosing to study MBA online is a great step towards a solid foundation, working with business partners is the best way to diversify your experiences, expertise, and ability to make well-informed decisions. A business partner is a commercial entity that forms a partnership with you to expand business potential, leverage more growth opportunities, and generate more revenue. That said, finding a helpful partner can be difficult and establishing a transparent relationship might take time and consistent effort. 

If you are planning to start a business partnership, here are the key ways to build and maintain it.

How to build a business partnership

Decide who you are reaching out to

Once you have decided to work with a business partner, it is essential that you create a list of prospective partners you can reach out to. This step is crucial as you do not want to connect with people who might not align with your goals. It will only waste time and yield no constructive outcome. 

On the other hand, it is also not advised to partner with people in the same industry as you. They are your competitors (directly or indirectly), and no one would want to sabotage their business potential for partnership. Instead, reach out to commercial entities that are not in the same industry as the one you cater to, based on how their expertise will help your business grow, the shared core values and principles, and their ability to be agile and adaptable. 

Build a symbiotic partnership

A symbiotic partnership ensures both you and the business partner are benefitting from the establishment, adding more meaning and value to the relationship. Additionally, as the value extraction is free and transparent, you and your partner will be more willing to share expertise, resources and knowledge. 

Industry influencers, strategic alliances, vendors, and suppliers are the key people with whom you must establish a symbiotic bond. Also, as they feel more valued by you, they are more likely to continue being loyal and dedicated towards your growth. Avoid taking on more responsibilities than you can manage and focus on providing as much value as you can to your partners. 

Don’t share what isn’t necessary

It may seem natural to want to inform your partners about your business’s operations, financial standing, and upcoming future plans. However, it is always best to keep your guard up and only share information that is required or has been asked for. Your partners shouldn’t have control over your business and its operations and vice versa. Giving away too much power will eventually stagger your growth and create vulnerabilities. 

Instead, outline how much is too much and adhere to it strictly. Working with a business lawyer can help prepare paperwork that safeguards your business while creating a safe and respectful work environment for involved partners. 

How to maintain business partnerships

Communicate clearly and on time

Communication is vital in a business partnership setting to ensure your partners know exactly what is expected of them. Keeping communication channels clear and honest will enable your partners to assist and support you. By doing so, you can have challenging discussions related to money, management styles, deliveries, mistakes, and the scope of improvements without worrying about a fallout. 

Constantly put in efforts 

However friendly, reliable, and valuable your business partner may seem, it is still essential that you constantly put effort into the partnership. Respecting them, considering their limitations, and acknowledging the help and support they have been providing are some simple yet highly effective ways to indicate that their hard work and partnership matter. 

Set realistic goals and expectations

Before entering a business partnership, you must list all your expectations from them. These expectations range from timely delivery to order confirmation to weekly catch-up meetings. Setting unrealistic expectations will significantly lower the morale of your partnership and make it challenging for them to always come up with ways to match and exceed the expectations.


Getting into a business partnership is among the most critical decisions you will be making. You must find sincere commercial entities, understand the obligations, and communicate honestly. Avoid rushing the process as you may end up partnering with someone who jeopardises your business growth or worse, sets up a similar business of their own to complete with you.

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