Business partnerships need the right ingredients to thrive. If you don’t nourish them properly, they can end up badly. Not all business relationships are the same. Some are long term and will require you and your partner to work together extensively. Others are short term and designed to test a concept.
If you are considering partnering with a small agency to accomplish your goals, we recommend putting these six suggestions into practice.
1. Create a Shared Mission and Values
Before moving forward with the project, define the mission and values. Everyone needs to be on the same page, otherwise you and your partner will be moving in opposite directions. This will end up wasting time and resources, plus probably force you both back to the drawing board. Even though the objectives and methods need to be the same, the motivations can be different.
2. Identify Individual Strengths
It’s a great idea to identify each partner’s strengths early on in the working relationship. What skills and experience drew you to this particular person? Why do you think that you and this person will make a great team? The purpose of this is to add motivation to the partnership and create more positive energy. Also, when both partners feel needed, they’re more likely to contribute their best work.
3. Set Clear Goals
The best way to handle goals is to start with objectives for the company and objectives for each partner. The individual goals should support the company goals. Having benchmarks in place is helpful, as each partner knows what they are responsible for. At the end of the contract or project, you can sit down and assess if these goals were met.
4. Understand Each Other’s Expectations
It’s also important to understand each other’s needs and expectations during the working relationship. What do you expect from your partner? What do they expect from you? You might want to be in this relationship for capital, while your partner may want connections. If these expectations aren’t met, it can cause trouble in paradise.
5. Define Roles and Responsibilities
Don’t rely on assumptions when it comes to your job roles. Otherwise, you’ll end up overlapping on some tasks and completely forgetting others. Write down the lists of responsibilities for you and your partner. If there are any gaps, hire contractors or specialists to fill in. This way, all roles and responsibilities are covered, and there are no uncertainties as to who is responsible for what.
6. Confront Issues Right Away
Issues can arise at any time in the relationship, and they’re never comfortable. That said, the best approach is to address the issue immediately. Letting bad feelings brew will only lead to more trouble down the road. To prevent a bunch of small things from building up, hold weekly or bi-weekly meetings where everyone can catch up, share progress and bring forth concerns.
By following these six simple tips, you can build long-lasting agency partnerships that lead to profitable and rewarding business ventures.