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As you grow your business or seek to expand, there are times you might want to consider going into a partnership. Of course, there are plentiful benefits of partnership such as risk-sharing, availability of more resources and wider connections, bridging the gap in expertise and knowledge, more cash, cost savings, more employment opportunities, better work/life balance, and so on. 
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Seeking business partnerships requires meticulous attention to detail and as well ticking the boxes. When it comes down to it, there are a lot of questions you will need to ask yourself about a new business partner. It is much like the questions that you would ask yourself if you were dating with intent for marriage. And much like a marriage, the stakes are just as high.  So whether it is a long-term partnership or a one-off, you must study and appreciate each other completely before striking out a partnership. You must take notes of specific green lights before going ahead. In this article, I’ll show you what you should look out for before telling if a partner is the right one for you.
  • You Share The Same Values

Sharing the same values is about if you are both headed in the same direction. This is very important because when expectations are similar, the partnership will be a smooth sail. However, when there is a variance in values, that partnership is bound to hit the rocks. Let’s for instance, your prospective partner wants the business operation to be limited to Lagos, but if you are interested in the nationwide operation, it is ill-advised to go into that partnership because the energy from both ends will be starkly different, and as such will lead to crisis. There will be problems with financial commitment, strategic planning, and goal setting. Therefore, it is advisable to partner with those who are headed in the same direction as you.
  • You Have Complimentary Conflict Resolution Styles

Conflicts in relationships of any kind are often unavoidable. There are going to be good and bad times, but what is very key is how you and your prospective partner have chosen to deal with conflict. This is going to be a huge determinant of the growth potential of your partnership.
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For example, is your partner the kind of person that stays on the course or breaks up in the face of conflict? Does he or she believe in sitting down and engaging issues diplomatically? Does he or she see violence as a means of solving conflicts? Have they displayed such behaviour in previous partnerships?  There are mainly four types of conflict resolution styles. They are Compromise, Accommodating, Compromising, and Arbitration.  Learning about their conflict resolution style before going into business with prospects will go a long way in ensuring that your partnership endures the test of time.
  • You Have Similar Work Ethics

The disparity in work ethics has often been responsible for the breakdown of partnerships.  Countless cases exist where one partner works eighty-plus hours a week and is very goal and goal-driven, whereas the other partner rarely shows up for work and when they do make an appearance they spend their time on low-value tasks that don’t push the business forward. When this is not noted or observed, when they raise their ugly heads, it leads to conflict. Before venturing into any partnership, communicate expected goals, your work ethics, and patterns, and develop a plan for how to achieve those goals. Different work styles can still work, but clear communication and a focus on high-value tasks are a must.

Concluding Remarks

The business partnership has its merits and demerits. However, when partners tend to focus on growth while complementing each other’s strengths and choosing to work as a team, such a partnership will yield progress. Although conflicts may arise, partners must focus on looking out for the best and seek to accomplish goals. In a case where you keep pointing out weaknesses all through, such a partnership will die before its starts. Finally, look out for vital green lights and red flags before venturing into any partnership. Featured Image Source: FortuneBuilders
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This article was first published on 4th May 2022


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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